Damien Leith returns to the stage with Irish play The Parting Glass

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With seven albums, two number one hits and half a million sales under his belt, you could forgive Damien Leith’s fans for fronting up to his show The Parting Glass with expectations of a gig full of familiar tunes.

When the show premiered in Adelaide, however, plenty were surprised to find themselves sitting down instead to watch a fully-fledged play.

“The first night there was definitely a lot of people who’d come to the shows in the past and that was the feedback: ‘I didn’t think that was going to happen’,” says Leith. “I suppose they were going in thinking they’d be hearing Irish music but didn’t expect there was going to be a play as well.”

The Parting Glass isn’t so much a departure for the Australian Idol winner as it is a return. “The thing that got me into music in the first place was the fact that I used to love writing plays. I loved drama as a kid and wrote loads of plays and put them on, and then from plays I went into musicals, and then musicals got me into singing. I’ve always loved drama, loved acting, and definitely loved writing. I suppose it was a long time coming, really.”

When the show debuted at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival it had been years since he’d done any acting, and admits that it was a “nerve-wracking” prospect to switch back into that mode.

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