Billis swap: Eddie Perfect returns to South Pacific for final Brisbane shows

It was announced today that Eddie Perfect, award winning actor, singer and writer, will re-join the cast of South Pacific as the wheeling and dealing Luther Billis in Brisbane for the final four shows, replacing Gyton Grantley.

Eddie Perfect as Luther Billis in South Pacific. Image by Kurt Sneddon
Eddie Perfect as Luther Billis in South Pacific. Image by Kurt Sneddon

Perfect originated the role of Seabee Luther Billis when Opera Australia’s award winning production opened at the Sydney Opera House on August 11 last year and has performed the role over 100 times during the Sydney and Melbourne seasons.

Due to commitments with the hit television show Offspring‘s filming schedule, Perfect was replaced by House Husbands star and Queensland local Gyton Grantley for the Brisbane season at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC).

Now, in an apt switcheroo, Grantley will head back to the set of House Husbands and Perfect will take a few days off filming to close the season from Friday 25 January – Sunday 27 January.

Eddie received wide acclaimed for his performances as Billis in the show’s premiere season in August 2012 at the Sydney Opera House, and in the following Melbourne Season.

AussieTheatre’s Cassie Tongue praised his performance in her review of the show

“Eddie Perfect, as raucous Seabee Luther Billis, is a deliciously ribald triple-threat, leading the rag-tag assembly of navy men through some of the funniest ensemble work seen in Sydney of late (particularly in ‘Bloody Mary and ‘There Is Nothin’ Like a Dame’). He is consistently, endearingly entertaining, and earned plenty of laughs through the night.”

– Cassie Tongue,  AussieTheatre review

Perfect is looking forward to the opportunity to take to the South Pacific stage in Brisbane.

“I am thrilled to be able to re-insert myself into this incredible production of South Pacific again in Brisbane”, he said.

“I’ve performed there many times and loved it, but this will be my first time in a major musical. Since leaving the production to honour my commitments to Offspring, I’ve missed the show and its wonderful cast dearly. It’s a dream to be back on board, tackling the role of Billis in front of a sunny Brisbane crowd,” said Eddie.

Gyton Grantley as Luther Billis in South Pacific 2013. Image by Kurt Sneddon
Gyton Grantley as Luther Billis in South Pacific 2013. Image by Kurt Sneddon

Similarly, Brisbane born Grantley, best known for his portrayal of Carl Williams in the Underbelly television series, has loved playing Luther Billis and performing in front of audiences in his home town.

“I have had a ball in my musical debut and it has been amazing working with the talented and warm group of people of South Pacific”, he said.

“I am certainly sad to leave Brisbane before the season end, though am happy to hand over the baton to Eddie, knowing audiences are going to love his portrayal of Billis.”

South Pacific also stars acclaimed opera baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Australia’s best loved and four time Gold Logie award-winning actress Lisa McCune, Australian musical theatre star Daniel Koek and award- winning Australian singer, Christine Anu in the roles of Emile de Becque, Nellie Forbush, Lieutenant Joseph Cable and Bloody Mary.

The 37-strong cast (including six local children in supporting roles) and an orchestra twice the size of most musicals, play at QPAC until Sunday 27 January. The show is scheduled for a return season at the Sydney Opera House from September 9.

Winner of Best Musical at the Sydney Theatre Awards earlier this week, and named as AussieTheatre’s top Sydney Musical for 2012, South Pacific is a show not to be missed.

Visit for more information and to book tickets

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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