The Fame Reporter interviewed young newcomer Madeline Grice who embodies the incredible Sophie Sheridan in Matt Ward Entertainment’s latest production the hit musical Mamma Mia the Musical. The show is currently playing at The Star Gold Coast until 11 July 2021.
We talked to Madeline about her professional stage debut, winning the role of Sophie, her future performing dreams and more.
What sparked your interest in performing initially?
My next door neighbour was a Scottish dance teacher and introduced me to the stage from when I was really little. When I moved to Australia, I started Tap, Jazz, Ballet and Musical Theatre classes and absolutely fell in love with performing. My Dad was also interested in the dramatic arts, (being in a few musicals himself) so I think I picked up some bits from him too!
Congratulations on winning the role of Sophie in Mamma Mia GC! What enticed you to audition for the role? Thank-you! I grew up with an ABBA loving Mum so naturally Mamma Mia was one of my favourite musicals. I had been holding back from auditioning for things because I thought I might not be good enough (which by the way, is never a good excuse not to give something a go) but living through COVID taught me not to take time for granted, so I took the plunge! I never even expected a call back but, here we are!
What do you love about the mother / daughter relationship that evolves in the show between Sophie and Donna?
It’s not common to see a show centred around a single mother and her daughter and I think the show taps into the honesty of this type of relationship beautifully. It shows the difficult moment between childhood and adulthood for Sophie, where your Mum goes from an adult figure who can’t be questioned to more of an equal.
I think it also shows the unconditional love they both have for each other. In their most vulnerable moments they seek out one another for confidence and reassurance and I hope the audience will be able to recognise bits of Sophie and Donna’s relationship with their own parents.
What is your favourite moment in the show?
I absolutely love the drama of the hen party scenes. So much happens plot wise, it’s so visually exciting and has some of my favourite songs! The director Tim Hill and choreographer Joseph Simons have done an incredible job putting together such an exciting moment and I’m so lucky I get to play it out on stage!
What do you think the most challenging and rewarding part about playing Sophie will be?
I think the most challenging part of playing Sophie is making sure she remains a strong woman throughout the production. Sophie goes on a huge journey emotionally over the two days the musical plays out and making sure I hold her core values with me throughout each up and down to keep her the strong woman she is, is really important to me.
Even though at times she might get overwhelmed Sophie doesn’t need a man to save her, and I love that.
What 3 performers dead or alive would you love to have a dinner party with?
Taylor Swift, Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews
Is there any role in any musical theatre or straight theatre show you are dying to play?
I would love to do Mean Girls. Tina Fey is a genius (I highly recommend her auto biography Bossy Pants) and I absolutely love the soundtrack! I love the movie and just think it would be so fun to perform.
What have rehearsals been like for this new production of Mamma Mia and with this incredible cast for your professional stage debut?
It has been AMAZING. I hit the musical theatre lottery being able to work with this cast. Every single day I learn something from each of the cast members in all aspects of show life.
I feel so lucky they’ve been incredibly patient and helpful during this process as I learn the ropes and I’ll take everything they’ve taught me into the future!
If you could be stranded on a Greek Island right now what would you do and who would you take with you? I’d take a device to watch movies on and my Boyfriend and puppy Ted!
What are some of your future dreams?
I would love to be back on stage again and one day it would be amazing to tour with a show! I also love screen acting so it would be great to one day work on a television or movie project. I just hope that I don’t let fear stop me from pursuing things that I love in the future like I have let it in the past.
What do you love about performing in Queensland in particular?
I think Queensland audiences go to shows to have a good time and they have been great to bounce off!
There’s nothing better than being on stage and hearing people singing along or get up and start dancing.
Who or what inspires you?
People that are fearlessly pursing exactly what makes them happy, and people at the top of their game doing their thing (a few of whom you’ll find in the cast of Mamma Mia GC!)
What can audiences expect and why will they love this version of the show?
This is a reimagined version of Mamma Mia. Tim Hill has put his spin on the show and bought it into the twenty first century.
Expect to laugh, cry, sing and dance!
Fame Reporter Word Play
Favourite mantra when you are down
If you’re feeling lost, go where you feel most alive
Any secret talents
Favourite ABBA song
Savoury or Sweet
Dressing Room necessity
Sour Patch Kids & Honey Drops
Wicked! (I watched it on Broadway in 2011!)
Can’t live without
My puppy Teddy!
Can you hear the drums?
In the car with my friends
Place you want to travel to
Back to New York or Toronto
Being back on stage
TV Show Binge
Finally, favourite thing about performing
Seeing people in the audience enjoying the show!
Thank-you Madeline for joining us at The Fame Reporter and we wish you all the best for Mamma Mia at The Star!
Mamma Mia the Musical
The Star Gold Coast
19 June – 11 July
All photos – Supplied