How To Train Your Dragon: Australians Score Lead Roles

Rarmian Newton and Sarah McCreanorGlobal Creatures, the masterminds behing the Walking with Dinosaurs phenomenon and King Kong the Musical along with DreamWorks Theatricals have launched their next spectacular event, How to Train Your Dragon Arena Spectacular, and two young Australian performers will lead the company on the much anticipated world tour.

Set to begin its world tour in Melbourne from March 2012, and inspired by the Academy Award nominated animated film, How To Train Your Dragon will bring high-flying, fire-breathing dragons to life in what has been described by the presenting companies as “an unprecedented live entertainment event for a worldwide audience”.

The show is set in the mythical world of burly Vikings and wild dragons following Hiccup, a Viking teenager who doesn’t fit in with his tribe’s longstanding tradition of heroic dragon slayers. Hiccup’s world is turned upside down when he encounters a dragon that challenges him and his fellow Vikings to see the world from an entirely different point of view.

Helpmann Award winning Rarmian Newton (Billy Elliot, Cats), 18, will take to the stage in the leading role of Hiccup and will be joined by 19 year old Sarah McCreanor from Queensland in the role of Astrid, the best dragon slayer in the crew (both pictured, above).

The casting brief for this show specified that performers needed to excel in physical, circus and dance skills for an arena sized stage. Over 2000 performers auditioned in 13 different cities around the world auditioned for this show in an exhaustive process, with Rarmian and Sarah selected for the choice roles. These two young actors will have the complex task of working with flying, fire-breathing dragons, aerial ropes and pulleys as well as a moving wall-to-floor projected landscape…all in an arena space 10 times bigger than any theatre stage.

How To Train Your Dragon Arena SpectacularAfter performing in the Australian premiere, they will go on to tour New Zealand then all over America and beyond!  Performances will be held at Hisense Arena in Melbourne from March 2, 2012 before an Australian tour. The production will then transfer to Auckland before commencing its United States season in June 2012.

Global Creatures CEO, Carmen Pavlovic, explained “Working with DreamWorks has brought us into a relationship with one of the world’s leading entertainment companies. The collaboration fuses our own world-class technology with the vision and dedication of a company renowned for its cutting-edge creativity and storytelling skill. We are excited to expand the boundaries of public expectation by creating a show that combines dynamic creatures, world class performers and incredible staging to not only thrill and intrigue, but to engage audiences on an emotional level as well.”

This show promises to break every rule of traditional arena entertainment. Audiences across the globe will experience 24 fire-breathing dragons, 7 soaring overhead, some with wingspans of up to 14 metres, unrivalled production values, projections, flying, stunts, circus performers, fire and pyrotechnics. In one of the largest theatrical arena productions ever to go on tour, How To Train Your Dragon Arena Spectacular will require an unprecedented 40 semi-trailers to transport the production around Australia.

Creature Designer Sonny Tilders said “How To Train Your Dragon Arena Spectacular will incorporate everything we learned from Walking with Dinosaurs whilst taking the technology to a brand new level. Using state of the art computer software we are able to make these creatures perform in ways that we previously thought unimaginable. Utilising computer controlled flying systems we have created a show that inhabits the air above you as well as the arena floor below.”

The creative team features the world’s best and includes: highly acclaimed theatre director and writer Nigel Jamieson, multiple award-winning Australian production designer Peter England, and leading theatre, film and opera designer Dan Potra amongst others.

The stunning score features compositions from Icelandic singer-songwriter Jonsi from Sigur Ros and Oscar-nominated British film composer John Powell who created the original score for the Academy Award nominated feature film How To Train Your Dragon.

Max Lambert one of Australia’s most talented composers, arrangers, musicians and musical directors, will join the creative team as Musical Supervisor. Max has been involved in films such as Happy Feet, Sweetie and The Last Days of Chez Nous. Notable musical theatre credits have included David Atkins’ critically acclaimed production of Hot Shoe Shuffle and Musical Supervision on the ARIA Award winning The Boy From Oz.

Tickets to HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON ARENA SPECTACULAR are on sale now from or call 132 849
Ticket prices range from $49.90 to $99.90
National Tour Dates:
MELBOURNE:March 2 to March 11Hisense Arena
SYDNEY:March 15 to March 25All Phones Arena
BRISBANE:March 28 to April 1Brisbane Entertainment Centre
More information visit:

Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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