Sofia Poston is the first Singaporean to play Roald Dahl’s Matilda and she’s loving it
The nine-year-old is currently playing the title role in the Singapore run of the musical four times a week at the Marina Bay Sands Theatre.
Nine-year-old Sofia Poston may be the first Singaporean to play the starring role in the award-winning Matilda The Musical, but she is showing none of the pressure of that historic accolade.
“I love performing in front of a live audience,” she told CNA Lifestyle. “I love playing Matilda and wish I can do it every night! I am not tired of it!”
The student from United World College of South East Asia did confess that she finally felt “a little nervous” on her first night of show.
“I wished then that my mummy was there with me to help with my visualisation exercise, but she was probably more nervous than I was sitting amongst the audience,” she said with a laugh.
“Lucky for me, Lucy, one of my chaperones, was really helpful. We talked about all the rehearsals and that helped calm me down.”
Poston is one of four young actresses currently taking turns to play the plucky heroine in the stage musical based on Roald Dahl's beloved children’s book of the same name. It runs until Mar 17 at Sands Theatre in Marina Bay Sands.
Four times a week, Poston plays Matilda and when she's not, she's taking on the role of Amanda. Similar to the other Matildas, she performs other characters when they aren't essaying Matilda. The other three girls who will play Matilda on different days are South Africans Lilla Fleischmann, Morgan Santo, and Kitty Harris.
Matilda The Musical, adapted by British writer Dennis Kelly with music and lyrics by the Australian comedian Tim Minchin, is the award winning musical from the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Ever since its London West End premiere in 2011 and Broadway premiere in 2013, the musical has won seven Oliver Awards and five Tony Awards, including Best Book of A Musical.
Poston was first spotted by Matilda’s creative team while strutting her stuff in the ensemble of the musical Evita, which ran in Singapore last year.
The rest, as they say, is history.
“I thought to myself, ‘Really? Is this for real?” she recalled feeling when she first heard she landed the coveted role. “I still didn’t fully believe it while I was rehearsing in South Africa. I only truly believed it when I first performed on stage here in Singapore! My sister Tara cried for me as she was so happy!”
Poston underwent eight weeks of rehearsals in Cape Town, South Africa where Matilda The Musical most recently ran. There, she was coached on her singing, dancing and acting, as well mastering the Matilda accent.
“(Training in South Africa) helped me a lot! Everyone in Cape Town was so friendly and supportive,” she said. “I also got to see the other girls play Matilda and learn from them.”
Following the Singapore run, Matilda The Musical will play in China from Jul 2019 to Jan 2020. It will cover 14 cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, with Poston and her Matilda going along for the ride.
“The show in Singapore is flying by so quickly! I haven’t had enough of being Matilda, so I am really looking forward to it,” she said, adding that she will miss her family and her pet hamster while in China. “I am also anxious about how the people in China will respond to the musical. Deep inside I know they will love it.”
For the little girl whose dream of performing on stage began when she saw Annie the musical at the age of five, this experience has been nothing short of amazing.
Poston says being the first Singaporean Matilda has been a journey that is both nerve-wrecking and exciting at the same time.
“My sister calls this ‘nervcited’! However, it is definitely fun,” she said. “ And it’s so nice to be able to be part of a great musical that tells people that ‘even if you are little, you can do a lot!’”
And a lot more is what this little actress wants to achieve.
“I love being on stage. It feels like I have accomplished something when I know the audience has enjoyed the show,” she said. “I don’t think I will stop auditioning! Do give my mummy a call please! I’m ever ready for a new role!”