Wendy Stapleton’s performing career history is diverse, including acting as well as being a singer/songwriter, solo artist and lead singer.
Young boys often aren’t keen to hear the news that they are going to have a baby sister, but Wendy Stapleton’s brothers were overjoyed.
‘My mum’s dream was to be a singer and dancer in the theatre,’ Wendy says. ‘And then the war broke out and she realised that her career was pretty much going down the gurgler, so she had my brothers go to dancing school. They hated it. Can you imagine the poor boys? All they wanted to do was play football.
‘Anyway, they had to do it until I was born and was old enough to start dancing, then they celebrated heartily and took off to do their own thing. Mum had me at dancing school as soon as I could walk.’
Luckily, dancing and singing became Wendy’s dream too, with her first big break coming at the age of nine when she got to perform at Her Majesty’s Theatre.
‘It's hard work, but as kids you don't see it like that. It's pretty magical being on the stage and, not only that, you got paid for it as well.’
Wendy’s performing career history is diverse, including acting, being a singer/songwriter, solo artist and lead singer of bands including Wendy and the Rocketts, which had a top 30 single with Play the Game.
A regular at the Victorian Seniors Festival for more than a decade, this year Wendy will perform with her 28-year-old daughter, singer/songwriter Ally McNaughton. The mother and daughter duo often play with Wendy’s husband, the musician Paul Norton, and other family and friends
‘We joke that we are the Von Trapps,’ Wendy says.
‘Ally’s degree from uni was fine arts in gold and silver smithing so we thought that she would be going down that path …but she wants to go into showbiz. Poor kid.’
Watch Wendy's 2020 Victorian Seniors Festival reimagined performance.