Esther received wide recognition as Penny Pingleton in the original Australian production of Hairspray in 2011. She then originated the role of Ann Darrow in Global Creatures’ big-budget musical King Kong at the Regent Theatre, Melbourne in 2013.

In 2014 and 2015, she performed in a revival of Nick Enright and Max Lambert’s musical Miracle City at the Hayes Theatre in Sydney, The 3 Mikados with Colin Lane and David Collins for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Billie Bendix in Nice Work If You Can Get It for The Production Company, and Skurry in Last Man Standing for the Melbourne Theatre Company.

In 2016, Hannaford is playing the leading role of Audrey in an Australian national tour of Little Shop of Horrors. It was recently announced that she would appear in the Australian production of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, as Carole King.

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