Debra Byrne has long been considered one of the great divas of Australian showbusiness.The former pop-queen became a stage star with roles in Les Miserables,Cats and Jerry's Girls. Most recently she played Norma Desmond in the Australian production of Sunset Boulevard, however despite great critical notices, her frequent and sudden absences from the show were partially blamed for the show's lack of success.
Now nine months after that show has closed Debra has spoken to Playbill On-Line about her thirty year battle with clinical depression and how she is finally on a course of medication that is proving effective."Nobody ever bothered to investigate if that was my major problem,when finally I had a label for my troubles it was a great relief" she told PBOL.
Through the years Debra's woes have made great copy for tabloid magazines-alcoholism, drug abuse, sexual abuse, marriage breakups etc. Now she stems many of these and her regular 'no-shows' at Sunset back to this problem. A suicide attempt late last year saw her reach rock-bottom and now with a weekly visit to a psychiatrist and daily medication she says she feels more focused and driven than ever before.
Debra will perform her first major concert in more than two years Saturday Mar. 28 in the Showroom of Crown Casino in Melbourne. She will perform a mixture of original material, showtunes, jazz and the pop-hits that first established her name.
Bookings (61-3-96854200) --By Peter Ford