He’s the longtime Gold Coast lad doing big things in the world of performance arts and he’s about to bring one of the most fun musicals around to The Star Gold Coast. Yes it’s Mamma Mia! Gold Coasters, and you can watch it on stage right here this July.
We sat down for a chat with Matt about his company Matt Ward Entertainment and all the exciting work he’s doing to bring the arts to the people.
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I was born and bred here on the Gold Coast. I had to move away to pursue my career after high school and have lived overseas for a long period of time, but now I’m back and loving it!
What do you love most about living here?
I love that all my family are here still. There’s something very comforting and grounding knowing you have that amazing support around you and the fact that I can be living on the Gold Coast and able to pursue my passion. I’ve really enjoyed being a part of the growth of the arts sector on the Coast and I’m looking forward to contributing to that continued growth as the Gold Coat becomes known as a destination for top tier arts and culture.
Tell us about your upcoming production of Mamma Mia! at The Star Gold Coast, what can we expect?
I am so excited to be bringing this iconic musical to the Gold Coast. We (Gold Coast) are often overlooked when they tour these shows in Queensland. Mamma Mia! Is the ultimate feel-good musical. Jammed packed with all the iconic ABBA songs, what’s not to love about it? You can expect a great night out and dancing in the aisles!
What does it take to put a show like this together?
Many sleepless nights! A great team working towards the same goal. A cast that are equally passionate as they are talented and a community that comes together to support theatre.
What else does your company, Matt Ward Entertainment do?
We mentor and provide education and performance opportunities for our local emerging artists. This is really important to me and why I created Matt Ward Entertainment. I had to leave the Gold Coast to study and pursue my career as the opportunities weren’t here. In many of our youth development programs students have gone on to be accepted into reputable performing arts degrees and sustain careers as working professionals. Matt Ward Vocal Studios is another big piece of what we do. Students have gone on to successful recording careers, The Voice, Australia’s Got Talent and leads in some of the biggest musicals all around the world! And we have just established a new creative space in Bundall.
Talk us through some career highlights thus far…
One of the highlights was creating The Greenroom Project which is a platform that develops new talent and provides a showcase opportunity. It was such a huge success and we look forward to relaunching that again soon. Another highlight was my first musical production RENT. It’s such a harrowing experience not knowing if people would come to the show and risking a tonne of money on a passion project but having it sell out weeks before we opened was definitely a relief and now a career highlight.
How did all of this begin for you?
High School was the catalyst definitely. I was always in the school musicals. From 15, I was in every Arts Centre Gold Coast production and had lessons every day. Then I was accepted into NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Arts) and I was lucky enough to have a career from there.
What else do you have happening in 2020?
Beside Mamma Mia!, I am looking at producing some new Australian and local artists, as well as workshopping and developing new shows here at home!
Favourites on the Coast:
Cafe for breakfast: Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day! You will find me most weekday mornings at Manola Bro’s and on a weekend, we usually head to a dog friendly cafe in Mermaid!
Coffee spot: I loooove my coffee! Rafiki and Papercup Coffee are a couple of favs.
Restaurant for dinner: I love all the restaurants on the Gold Coast. From cheap eat Thai to steak Glenelg Public House to the incredible chicken at Social Eating House! We are spoilt for choice these days.
How does your weekend usually look: I love the weekends! During the week my partner and I live busy lives so weekends are about catching up with each other, hanging out with friends and spending time with our golden retriever – Gatsby! 🙂