We talked to Matt about his upcoming production of the hit musical Mamma Mia, finding new local talent, what he loves about producing and more.
What was the inspiration behind bringing Mamma Mia to the Gold Coast and what do you love most about this show?
MAMMA MIA! Has been a favorite musical of mine for years and one I know would have Gold Coast audiences up on their feet dancing and singing along to, especially after the last 12 months we have all gone through.
What I love most is the classic ABBA songs and high energy choreography. And the story of a relationship between a mother and daughter, both two strong and independent women.
What has the casting process been like for the show?
The overall casting process has been really exciting. From launching a radio competition to discover a homegrown star to play our Sophie, to seeing over 200 auditionees in a 3 day audition process. Discovering two Gold Coast locals, as our star cross lovers, Lakota Johnson and Madeline Grice is a highlight.
How exciting that newcomer Madeline Grice will be playing Sophie and will get her big break, what do you love most about advocating for new talent?
I am thrilled that the Gold Coast got behind and voted for Madeline as our Sophie. We are very lucky in Queensland and especially on the Gold Coast to have an amazing resource of upcoming talent.
I have been a big advocate and supporter of emerging artists and youth development programs here and I hope MAMMA MIA! will be the launch for a number of many careers.
What is your favourite moment in the show?
‘Dancing Queen’ is a highlight! Just watching the audience start dancing in their seats and wanting to get up and boogie, and the heartfelt ballad ‘The Winner Takes It All’ that Donna sings. Goosebumps!!
What 3 performers dead or alive would you love to have a dinner party with?
Liza Minelli, Hugh Jackman, Meryl Streep
What have you learned about the various kinds of performing arts over the years and why do you think people need the arts in their lives?
If the last 12 months has taught us anything, it is that people need to feel connected.
The Arts is that vehicle that brings people together.
What do you love about Queensland theatre in particular?
What I love about Queensland theatre is opportunity! I think people underestimate just what amazing theatre we produce here. For years, Sydney and Melbourne were known for theatre in Australia.
Producers local and internationally are now recognising Queensland as the next arts hub!
The best aspect of your role as Producer of Matt Ward Entertainment?
Creating opportunities for audiences and artists. Bringing these much-loved musicals to life on the Gold Coast and showcasing our homegrown talent!
What can audiences expect and why will they love this version of the show?
MAMMA MIA! is a classic, so audiences can expect all the things they love from the original musical and the movie with a new, fresh “Gold Coast” spin!
Fame Reporter Word Play
Dear Evan Hansen
Favourite mantra when you are down
Thank you for sharing I am!
Any secret talents
I am a trained singer
Home of musical theatre
Favourite ABBA song
The Winner Takes It All
Savoury or Sweet
Dressing Room necessity
Can’t live without
Place you want to travel to
Back to Mykonos
Touring shows around the world
TV Show Binge
Ooh, too many!
Finally, favourite thing about performing
Being on stage
Thank-you Matt for joining us at The Fame Reporter and we wish you all the best for Mamma Mia at The Star Gold Coast!
Mamma Mia the Musical
The Star Gold Coast
19 June – 11 July
All photos – Supplied