My travel life: Tony Sheldon, star of Charlie and the Chocolate factory musical

Tony Sheldon, currently appearing as Grandpa Joe in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Capitol Theatre, Sydney. The show moves to Her Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne in August.


ANY PASSPORT MISHAPS? I put my jeans through the wash with my passport in the back pocket while I was on holiday in Dublin. My next stop was the United States and I was warned that I should get a replacement passport before I travelled or I might be refused entry. Unfortunately, the consulate in Dublin didn't produce the new one until a couple of hours before my plane took off so I was a gibbering wreck and have absolutely no memory of Dublin at all.

I GOT MY FIRST PASSPORT When I was four years old. I travelled with my parents to London in 1959 and we lived there for a year.

MY PASSPORT PHOTO IS sadly accurate.

I CAN'T STOP GOING BACK TO New York because that has been my home since 2010.

MY LAST TRAVEL DESTINATION WAS Brisbane, the last stop for the recent Priscilla, Queen of the Desert tour. The weather was heavenly and I was so impressed by the changes happening in the city where I was born.

MY NEXT TRAVEL DESTINATION IS Melbourne – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory moves there in August.

I'M REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO playing the beautiful Her Majesty's Theatre for the first time since 1981. My parents performed there in The Pajama Game and Oliver! when I was a kid so it has always held a special place in my heart.


WHAT I REALLY WANT FROM MY NEXT TRIP IS to explore all those hidden lanes and thoroughfares that make the Melbourne CBD so unique.

I LOVE TO TRAVEL BECAUSE I'm an unrepentant stickybeak! I never lose my sense of wonder and the joy of discovery. 

MY TRAVEL PHILOSOPHY IS that there is no pressure to do anything but have fun. If plans fall through, it's not the end of the world. If I'm tired, I'm under no obligation to do anything at all.

THE ONE TRAVEL MISTAKE I ALWAYS MAKE IS either overpacking or underpacking.

THE ONE THING I REALLY DO GET RIGHT WHEN I TRAVEL IS research. I usually spend weeks on the internet beforehand checking out places and events that are off the beaten track.

IF I HAD TO SIT IN THE MIDDLE SEAT THE OTHER PASSENGERS I'D WANT ON EITHER SIDE OF ME WOULD BE ... my partner of 40 years, Tony Taylor, on one side, and on the other, the 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Andrew Sean Greer.  

THE ONE FAMOUS TRAVELLER I REALLY ADMIRE IS Jacki Weaver. We both began our international careers late in life and in the same year, 2010. Jacki has now made 40 films all over the world and she has embraced the constant travelling involved with joy, grace and enthusiasm.

THE ONE FAMOUS PERSON I'D LIKE TO TRAVEL WITH IS Daniel Levy, the star and creator of the TV series Schitt's Creek. He would be charming and hilarious, I would flirt outrageously and the hours would fly.

AIRLINE FOOD IS quite jolly on international flights. I do miss the old days when meals were served in economy class on short haul flights.

AIRPORT SECURITY IS a necessary inconvenience. Better safe than sorry.

HOTELS ARE great fun if they're well-appointed with all mod cons. Again, research is everything.

I'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO GO TO Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast. Unfortunately I can't drive, so it's always been in the too-hard basket.

I'VE NEVER WANTED TO GO TO India or Russia. I don't think I'd handle them well.

AISLE OR WINDOW AND WHY? Aisle. I've grown more nervous about air travel as I've gotten older so I never look out the window any more.