During my first week of rehearsals for Grease the Musical in 2013 we had a performance at the Sydney Opera House. On one of our breaks I was lazing in the green room with a bag of chips I’d bought from the vending machine when a cast member I had barely met sauntered up and grabbed them right out of my hand. I thought: “That’s bold.” It was only the beginning of the cheekiness I would come to expect of Jaryd.
The following week, I was texting with a friend who was keen for all the gossip on who I was working with, specifically if anyone was “gorgeous”. I found myself mentioning this chip thief and how he’d literally rolled into rehearsals on a skateboard, wearing a flamingo print tank top, a diamond stud in his nose. Cute as he was, I told my friend I was pretty sure he wasn’t interested in women.
Just a few days later, after recording the show’s album, the cast headed to the notorious Pyrmont Bridge Hotel for drinks. On a seedy black leather couch, at some ungodly hour of the night, we shared our first kiss. We didn’t spend a night apart for the next 18 months.
It all happened really fast, which was a little scary – but it just felt so easy and fun.
After three weeks of paying rent on an apartment I wasn’t even bothering to pick up clothes from, I didn’t hesitate for a second. I jumped in my car, and that was that.
“Showmances”, as they’re called in the theatre world, aren’t uncommon – but this was something different. We just fell so easily into this very comfortable, awesome relationship.
We are both pretty dramatic people and have histories full of tumultuous relationships so there were times, I think, when we both wondered if this was “real love” – the messy, passionate kind. But it has turned out to be something even better.
What disarmed me in the beginning was how little chaos there was. We made each other laugh so much, and it all felt so easy that before we knew it, the tour was over and we were buying an apartment together. A year later, I was pregnant with our daughter.
Jaryd is such a larrikin and he’s so naughty. He’s always pushing the boundaries but he has such an adorable quality that he gets away with anything. Our relationship is still very much rooted in humour and it’s the constant comic relief that keeps us going strong through a crazy life full of touring, child-rearing and running a business.
Life is serious and stressful enough without bringing that into your relationship, and we are pretty good at getting things on the table and sorting them out with a laugh.
Lucy Maunder stars in Chicago the Musical, at Crown Theatre, Perth from 21 November, followed by 2024 shows in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney