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2013 Tony Winner
Rejoice. The children's revolution has arrived on these shores, and it is even more glorious than we were promised!
Ben Brantley, The New York TimesBuy Tickets
Roald Dahl's popular children's book, MATILDA, about the smart little girl that dares to change her story and stand up for what is right, has been capturing hearts and inspiring people since the book was first published in 1988. Of late, Tim Minchin (music and lyrics) and Dennis Kelly's (book) heartfelt musical interpretation, MATILDA THE MUSICAL, has been delighting Sydney audiences since it opened in July last year. The time has come however for MATILDA THE MUSICAL to move south and share the joy and magic with Melbourne. BroadwayWorld.com-Sydney took this opportunity to chat to some of the adult cast before they leave the Lyric Theatre.
Travis Kahn (Rudolpho), Cle Morgan (Mrs Phelps), Reece Budin (Doctor and Ensemble), Daniel Raso (Michael Wormwood, Gym Captain and Ensemble), Nadia Komazec (Understudy for Miss Honey and Mrs Wormwood and Ensemble), and Leah Lim (Swing and Ensemble) kindly answered some questions about their experiences over the past few months and what they are looking forward to in Melbourne.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE EXPERIENCE(S) OF THE SHOW/PROCESS SO FAR?
When asked what their favourite experiences of the show or the 'process' so far Travis and Leah both cited the rehearsal process, from working with the original creative team, seeing all the parts come together, watching the three groups of kids and "discovering the uniqueness of all four Matildas". Cle also found working with the kids as her favourite experience as their energy and dedication helped her stay fresh through the process. Whilst Daniel's stand out moment was the official opening night where Sydney audiences responded so well to the magical, fantastic show, plus the company also got to celebrate with the after party, Reece's favourite experience was when the played to their first audience in previews where friends and family were in the audience. Nadia's favourite experience occurred later in the process when she had the chance to perform both roles she understudies during the Sydney season.
WHAT DOES MATILDA MEAN TO YOU AND WHAT DO YOU WANT AUDIENCES TO TAKE FROM THE SHOW?
"...Just because you find that life's not fair it
Doesn't mean that you just have to grin and bear it.
If you always take it o the chin and wear it,
Nothing will Change..."
"... Even if you're little, you can do a lot, you
Mustn't let a little thing like, 'little' stop you..."
"...But nobody else is gonna put it right for me
nobody but me is gonna change my story..."
From Naughty - Tim Minchin
For all, Tim Minchin's lyrics from Naughty sum up what MATILDA THE MUSICAL means to them and what they'd like audiences to take away from the show. The universal understanding of the message from MATILDA is to "never underestimate yourself and how you have the ability to do anything you put your mind to do, especially if you're wanting to change your situation" (Leah Lim). It teaches people all ages that they can "stand up for themselves and what they believe in" (Nadia Komazec) whilst "not taking anyone down to get to where you want to go" (Reece Budin). The fact that children can get to see another child making a difference and being a hero is also a major point and the encouragement for children to read rather than play video games and watch 'telly' is also important. Also, reviving the childhood connection adults have to the book, allowing them to be kids again, and reflecting on their own dreams is an added takeaway Reece, Daniel and Travis hope audiences will take from the experience.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE CHARACTER AND WHY?
Both Daniel and Nadia cite Miss Trunchbull as their favourite character with James Millar capturing the terrifying, menacing character in a "wonderfully authentic way" (Nadia Komazec) and the role having some wonderful songs and lines, plus the opportunity to "throw Amanda Thripp by her pigtails". Reece singled out the children's role of Nigel, Matilda's "scatter brained" friend with the "hutzpah to go his hardest and give it a crack". Cle's favourite is Daniel Fredericksen's portrayal of Mr Wormwood and his ability to capture the grotesque caricature in a way that "you can't help but laugh". Whilst Leah couldn't pick a favourite, Travis' favourite is his own Rudolpho given the journey of developing the character and the learning process of how far he can stretch the narcissistic dancer.
WHO DO YOU RELATE TO MOST?
It was interesting to hear that the character that the actors' related to the most wasn't always their favourite. Both Nadia and Travis related to Matilda but for very different reasons. Nadia says she was a bookworm as a child whilst Travis relates to Matilda's comic timing and tenacity to stand up to Miss Trunchbull. Leah related the fearlessness, curiosity and adaptability of the children and Daniel picked out Lavender's loyalty and energy as something he sees in himself. Miss Honey "touches a spot" in Cle's heart as she sees that the timid teacher is the one who really needs to overcome her fear and speak her mind. Amusingly, Reece believes that he is most like Matilda's brother Michael as he also watches a lot of television.
ARE THERE ANY BEHIND-THE-SCENES STORIES YOU CAN SHARE?
While Cle invoked the "code of silence" and Leah didn't think she had any funny, special, or embarrassing behind the scenes stories, the other four interviewees came up with some wonderful moments. Travis admits to wardrobe issues with his trouser flares tripping him over, but thankfully only backstage. Daniel recounted his auntie visited stage door and a child cast member mistook her for their mother, giving her a big hug and the horrified, embarrassed face when the youngster looked up and realised his mistake. Nadia explained how she and Rachel Cole have a race to get into costume the fastest with the winner claiming the "prized pink scooter" for the finale. Similar to the ladies games, Reece has been the butt of pranks from cast mates taking advantage of his fear that he's missed his cue, winding him up so he's sprinting towards the stage before he realises the he's been had.
DO YOU HAVE AN EARLY OR FAVOURITE MEMORY OF ROALD DAHL'S WORK?
For most their connections to Roald Dahl's work goes back to primary school. Travis recalls his teacher, Mr Allan, used to read the stories to his students and as a youngster Travis was intrigued by them and loved listening to them. Travis' favourites are Revolting Rhymes and The BFG. Nadia who already disclosed that she always had her "nose buried in a book" as a child, said that Dahl was one of her "absolute favourite authors", and for her, The BFG, Matilda and The Witches being stand out stories. Leah recalls reading The Twits in primary school and enjoying that Dahl's stories are "empowering for young readers and so fantastical". Daniel connected to the movie of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a child and still lists it as a favourite movie, excited by the concept of a "place where everything is edible". Cle admits that the first book she ever read was The BFG but she never finished it so is now reading it, thanks to a friend buying her a copy. Whilst the other cast recall the fictional children's books, it was very interesting to hear that Reece read Dahl's autobiography, BOY, which gives an insight into the writer's mischievous youth in a strict English prep school, at least 10 times before the age of 12.
WHAT ARE THE GOOD POINTS OF TOURING WITH A SHOW?
For most, they have toured with productions before but MATILDA THE MUSICAL is Reece's first major production and he has already been "blown away" by the camaraderie of the cast and crew. Others enjoy the travel and chance to explore new cities and places that they may not get to visit otherwise. Some have already visited cities they are working in so like to go back to favourite areas whilst also immersing themselves in the local atmosphere. Some find that the company is a "big family" that they travel with, discovering together, whilst others will also explore with their own families that may travel with them or meet up along the tour. Touring also gives performers friends and family that live in different areas the chance to come and see the show. Whilst the Adult cast is touring, there will be new children in each city which also keeps the tour fresh as the adults get to see new youngsters shine.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN MELBOURNE?
Of the performers interviewed, it seems that all live in Melbourne so they were looking forward to seeing friends, partners and family. There also seemed to be a common thread of favourite coffee shops, cafes and restaurants that people were looking forward to revisiting. Cle and Reece specifically mentioned looking forward to performing in Princess Theatre where Reece saw his first professional show, Phantom of the Opera in 1998, and Cle explains is "a little magical". Leah is looking forward to getting back to Melbourne's rich Theatre culture and community and Travis and Nadia are both planning trips to their favourite gyms, yoga classes and dance studios.
SYDNEY LYRIC THEATRE UNTIL FEB 28 2016
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PRINCESS THEATRE FROM 13 MARCH 2016
TICKETS ON SALE NOW
Book at Ticketmaster 1300 723 038 www.ticketmaster.com.au
Groups 20+ call 1300 889 278 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Article reprinted with permission from www.BroadwayWorld.com
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