See Patsy Cline's music come alive on stage in Hervey Bay
AS a young girl, Courtney Conway would sing along to Patsy Cline CD's in the car - now she's performing on stage, throughout Australia, as the iconic American country music singer.
"Patsy definitely played a part in my childhood," she said.
"Every boxing day, my family would have an eight-hour drive from visiting family on Christmas and my Dad would play box sets of country music that featured Patsy's songs."
Mrs Conway was cast to play Pasty in HIT Productions' Australian tour of the stage show 'Always…Patsy Cline', which is based on a true story, created and originally directed by Ted Swindley.
"It's an incredible honour to be playing the legendary Patsy Cline in the show and to be performing all over Australia is such an amazing opportunity," the singer said.
"I was originally put forward for the role by the New York based Australian director, Denny Lawrance, so I auditioned in Melbourne and got the part."
The Western Australian performer said she didn't know much about Patsy before being chosen for the role, but quickly dived into some extensive research.
"To become Patsy I listened to a lot of her music, family and friends gave me documentaries about her, I watched YouTube videos to learn how she moved on stage and I read books about her too," she said.
"In the end I had to change certain words to sound more like her and adapt my singing style a lot to hit those low and high notes only Patsy could perfect."
'Always…Patsy Cline' is more than a tribute to the legendary country singer who died tragically at age 30 in 1963 from a plane crash.
The show is based on a true story about Patsy's friendship with a fan from Houston named Louise Seger, who befriended the star in a Texas during l961, and continued a correspondence with her until her death.
"I think people loved her so much because she was very passionate about what she did, she was funny and captivating, but her story is also very tragic, dying at such a young age, people are still left wondering what she could have achieved with her life," said Mrs Conway.
Four weeks of rehearsals led to the opening night of the national tour in Melbourne on July 9, and Mrs Conway has been on the road ever since.
"I've only had four days off during that time, it's been very busy," she said.
"All of the props travel by truck and sometimes we will fly to a new location or fly to the closest city and travel by car."
The stars next big show is Monday, September 19 at the Z-Pac Theatre in Hervey Bay and it's a show not to be missed by Patsy Cline fans.
"There are 27 songs in the show in total, some that the crowd will definitely know, "Crazy," ""Walking After Midnight" and "Blue Moon of Kentucky," Mrs Conway said.
"We've really had a beautiful response from audiences so far on tour, all across the country.
"The show isn't just song after song, it's written like a play, with conversations woven in between, to lead you through each song."
The national tour finishes up on November 27 in Western Australia, but Mrs Conway said there could be another tour in the works for 2017.
Although, for now, the actress, singer and performer is looking forward to a day off when she reaches Hervey Bay.
"I've heard there are whales along that coast, so I would love to go whale watching, if I can manage it."
Hervey Bay dates:
Sep 19 - Z-PAC Theatre, Hervey Bay QLD
Sep 20 - Z-PAC Theatre, Hervey Bay QLD
Rest of the 2016 tour:
Sep 22 - Hurstville Entertainment Centre, Hurstville NSW
Sep 23 - Joan Sutherland PAC, Penrith NSW
Sep 24 - Joan Sutherland PAC, Penrith NSW
Sep 25 - Joan Sutherland PAC, Penrith NSW
Sep 28 - Swan Hill Town Hall, Swan Hill VIC
Sep 30 - Orange Civic Theatre, Orange NSW
Oct 2 - Broken Hill Civic Centre, Broken Hill VIC
Oct 5 - Horsham Town Hall Theatre, Horsham VIC
Oct 7 - Potato Shed, Drysdale VIC
Oct 8 - Potato Shed, Drysdale VIC
Oct 11 - Portland Arts Centre, Portland VIC
Oct 13 - Drum Theatre, Dandenong VIC
Oct 15 - Eastbank Centre, Shepparton VIC
Oct 20 - Princess Theatre, Launceston TAS
Oct 21 - Devonport Entertainment & Convention Centre, TAS
Oct 23 - Burrinja, Upwey VIC
Oct 25 - Forge Theatre and Arts Hub, Bairnsdale VIC
Oct 31 - Esperance Civic Centre, Esperance WA
Nov 3 - Margaret River CC, WA
Nov 4 - Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre, WA
Sat Nov 5 - Koorliny Arts Centre, Kwinana WA
Nov 9 - Mandurah PAC, WA
Nov 10 - Don Russell Performing Arts Centre, Thornlie WA
Nov 12 - Cummins Theatre, Merriden WA
Nov 19 - Matt Dann Cultural Centre, South Hedland