TALENT: Robert Coleby

Robert Coleby has always had a wicked sense of humour. It’s a trait that helped him a land a recurring role in Catherine Tait’s new comedy series, Queen of Oz.

Over the years the veteran performer has created a drawer full of odd and interesting concepts for scripts and stories – including a few podcast ideas aimed at kids.

“The Naughty Trousers” is one of Rob’s childish musings. He made the narrator voice a sort of nutty old Colonel so he could have fun exploring the sounds of his other characters.

Meanwhile the Queen of Oz can be seen at 9:35pm Wednesdays on the ABC. Or you can stream the sitcom on iView. Check out the trailer here. Rob plays the Queen’s Private Secretary, Bernard.


TALENT: Robert Coleby

Robert Coleby is a proven performer. His list of credits is as long as your arm. And your leg. A long-time Brisbane local, Rob was born and trained in the UK, moving downunder in 1970s. Since that time he’s enjoyed a regular presence on the stage, TV and silver screen, and has well over over 100 film and television credits to his name.

Most recently the in-demand actor has been been working on ‘Last Days of the Space Age’ for Disney. This production is a wild mix of conflict and drama set around the historic events of 1979 in Perth when the Miss Universe Contest was held as Skylab was about to crash to earth somewhere around the city. A major factor is a power supply dispute with the Unions threatening black-outs. The power company built by his character Murray Doull is run by his wayward son Wayne.

And currently, Rob’s been cast as a series regular in ‘The Queen of Oz’ , written by and starring Catherine Tate for the BBC. Catherine plays the Queen, while Rob plays Bernard, the Queens private secretary.

Keep an eye out for it. By all accounts it’s hilarious!

In the meantime, check out Rob’s demo and remind yourself why he should be on your hit list for that next script you’re writing. 

TALENT: Robert Coleby

PRODUCTION: Self produced

Veteran of the stage and screen. Accomplished voice actor. Talented singer songwriter. Robert Coleby is your classic triple threat.

While the theatre waits in the wings for its aniticipated grand entrance, Rob’s been keeping himself creatively active in his home studio with his collection of guitars, ipad simulated keyboard, harp, and Garageband. He’s recorded enough tracks for an album, including this original composition: Going Down.

In other news, Robert and fellow BrisVO alumni, Kate Wilson, had some fun early in the year recording ‘Do Us Part’ by Krissy Kneen for the Red Light section of the Brisbane Festival produced by Tara Hobbs. Guy Webster was the recording engineer at Hunting Ground Studios trying to keep a straight face while they got down to some R-rated business, in character of course, as Delores and Ivan.

We can only imagine.

TALENT: Robert Coleby

When Robert Coleby’s character, Douglas Goddard, died after several seasons of Foxtel’s A Place to Call Home, Noni Hazelhusrt wept buckets.

Noni, of course, was playing Douglas Goodard’s grieving wife but Robert likes to believe his last performance was as emotional for the cast and crew as it was for him.

A Place To Call Home launched its final season in Sydney recently with a capacity crowd at the State Theatre. Queues for autographs outside stretched for three blocks. The first episode shown the following Sunday had the largest non-sport subscriber television audience in the country. It’s a testament to the fabulous quality of production helmed by Chris Martin-Jones, and the excellent acting from the cast, effortlessly exuding ‘fifties style sentiment and predudice.

In some ways it’s a shame his role on the series had to come to an end, however dying on the set has become a common theme of late for Robert and some of his contemporaries.

“When I was working on House of Hancock, playing Frank Reinhart, I ran into Jack Thompson at Fox Studios. “Ah Rob,” Jack said, “remember when they were casting for handsome romantic leads and we’d be right up there on the list? Now they just say; “this character dies, – who looks as if they’re about to kick the bucket? “ And there we are again, – right at the top of the list! “.

“I certainly enjoyed my heart attack (in House of Hancock) immensely, Robert continued, “especially the bit where lovely Mandy McElhinney as Gina sobbed over me more than she could over any Khatutt”.

While Robert’s recent characters may have passed on, his career is still thriving. For the next year or so he will be taking the central dramatic role in entirely unique arena spectacular which is, for the moment, completey underwraps.

During his years racking up over 200 stage, film and telly credits, Robert has always been involved in voice work. “I relish the challenge in identifying with a product and putting across the intentions of the writer” he said.

From his first commercial in ’71 with Ridley Scott in the UK, to the latest, a couple of TVC’s for CUA the other day, Robert finds each opportunity hugely satisfying.

He now has a remote home studio set-up using the best of mics for anyone who wants to get a demo or even the final read that way.

A Place to Call Home - Behind the scenes