The four girls chosen to play the extraordinary role of Matilda during the Melbourne season of Matilda The Musical in Melbourne have been announced.
In alphabetical order they are: Dusty Bursill, Tiana Mirra, Alannah Parfett and Ingrid Torelli.
Dusty and Tiana are both 11 years old, Alannah is 10 years old and Ingrid is the youngest of the Matildas at 9 years old.
They will be joined by the full Original Australian Adult Cast who will transfer for the Melbourne season.
The eight children’s roles of Bruce, Lavender, Amanda, Nigel, Eric, Hortensia, Alice and Tommy will be played in rotation by: Charli Bowers, Freya Cantwell, Keely Corcoran, Jack Coyne, Jeremiah Duncan, Shyla Farrugia, Tahlia Gerosa, Cooper Guinea, Jazi Hall, Kushinka Jayewardene, Andre Karabajakian, Kathleen Lawlor, Campbell MacCorquodale, Thierry Mendoza, Chloe Ngo, Chihana Perera, Adam Punsalang, Kyle Reynolds, Orlando Schwerdt, Hudson Sharp, Daniel Stow, Alistair Touliatos, Caleb Waterworth, Tahlia Williams and Mackensie Young.
Appropriately, the four Melbourne Matildas were introduced to the media at The Victorian State Library.
It’s been a huge secret for these girls to keep since finding out, several weeks ago, they had been chosen to share the role of Matilda Wormwood.
“I screamed my head off when I found out,” exclaimed Ingrid Torelli, “then my mum told me to be quiet and not to tell anyone yet!”
All four girls share the some love of reading as their character of Matilda – and of course, they love the writings of Roald Dahl. They have all read the novel of Matilda, and Alannah Parfett admitted to not only reading Matilda five times but says she knows the first chapter off by heart! They also enjoy classic authors such as Enid Blyton and contemporary author Andy Griffiths.
Before finding out she had been cast as Matilda, Tiana Mirra saw the musical in Sydney. I asked her what she thought of the musical.
“It was just so big! It was just so amazing and, wow, it was just in your face!” she exclaimed.
When asked about her favourite scene in the musical, Tiana showed remarkable insight for a young performer, “I liked ‘When I Grow Up’… they all looked at each other and they were just so connected with each other.”
Tiana is already a seasoned performer, having performed in the Melbourne season of Strictly Ballroom.
As for their favourite song in the show, their responses included ‘Naughty’, ‘Revolting Children’, ‘When I Grow Up’ and ‘Quiet’ for the range of emotions in the song, although they decided they really do love them all.
The girls were asked which qualities they most admired in the character of Matilda.
“She stands up to bullies and is always doing the right thing for other people,” said Ingrid.
“She’s very determined. She wants to change things that are not right. I love how she’s just confident,” replied Alannah.
“She’s really smart and puts everything right,” commented Tiana.
“She’s very humble and like Alannah and Tiana said, she likes to put things right” Dusty added.
The girls will share the role of Matilda during the season, performing the role twice a week, as well as being a stand-by twice a week. When they’re not at The Princess Theatre they’ll be back in their regular schools, being normal young kids.
When asked to describe their character, Dusty Bursill replied, “Matilda is very determined … and she never smiles!”
All the girls acknowledged that not smiling will be the toughest part of playing the role of Matilda, because they’re so used to smiling and being happy; particularly now that they can finally share their secret! Rehearsals commence in December, but for now, these excited young girls can smile as much as they like!
Matilda The Musical opens at the Princess Theatre Melbourne in March 2016.
For more information and tickets: http://au.matildathemusical.com/
Photo credit: David Hilbig