'She's disgusting, filthy, cruel and awful'
YOU start talking with Rockhampton Grammar School Year 12 student Wesley Muir and you have to think hard about what he really sounds like - so quick is Wesley to switch into his character of Miss Trunchbull.
Wes is one of the central characters in the upcoming RGS secondary school musical, Matilda, hitting the stage across four performances at the Pilbeam Theatre, starting on Friday night followed by a further three performances on Saturday and Sunday.
Roald Dahl's Matilda embraces some big personalities on stage, from the five-year-old Matilda yearning to learn and find a loving environment, the delightful teacher Miss Honey, a host of unique students and the scary Miss Trunchbull.
"She is disgusting, filthy, cruel, awful - every bad thing you can imagine put into one person, but it's fun to play,” Wesley said.
"It's not like any other character that I've ever played before. She's a very unique character.
"I think the audience will be shocked but think it's hilarious - I hope.”
Wesley is relishing the opportunity for another lead role after his breakthrough lead role as Scott in Strictly Ballroom last year.
This followed two years of fun in the chorus - a time Wesley will always remember and be grateful for - before getting a small role and an understudy role in Little Shop of Horrors.
While he dreamed of taking on a lead role he had to step outside his comfort zone to have a go.
"Being chorus and lead roles are totally different things. It's really good to do both things.
"You have more of a responsibility as a lead role and it's nice to have it,” Wesley said.
"I've always loved theatre and doing stuff on stage, but never thought I'd do anything like this. But as I did more musicals I kept falling in love with it.
"It comes with a lot of time and a lot of practice.
"You realise as long as you do the best you possibly can no one can judge you. You're proving it to yourself and entertaining people.”
Wesley hopes to get another opportunity to perform in a musical once he finishes school.
Young Matilda Wormwood has many secondary school musicals ahead of her, with Year 7 student Ella Plumb both shocked and excited to take on the role of Matilda.
"Matilda is very smart and clever. Her parents aren't nice to her. They think she's the dirt on their shoe. She gets treated really badly at home.
"When she goes to school she has an amazing teacher but a horrible principal,” said Ella of her lead character.
Ella always wanted to be involved in her first secondary school musical this year and was even more excited when she found out the production was Matilda and a "little girl” lead role was an option.
"It's a lot of hours with photo shoots, singing and acting but it's all really fun,” Ella said.
"I'm with my friends all the time. I love singing, acting and dancing. It's just what I love to do.”
Ella was Gloria the hippopotamus in last year's RGS Primary musical Madagascar Jnr, but has a few more lines to learn this year in one of the lead roles.
The excited young performer hopes the audience loves the show just as much as she does.
"The audience will see a lot of sharp movements in the dance numbers.
"It will be quick and snappy and exciting with the light effects,” Ella said.
"Some characters are really scary, some are really nice, and the songs are just amazing.”
Tickets are available from the Pilbeam Theatre or online at seeitlive.com.au/ Whats_On /Matilda.
Friday - 7pm
Saturday - 1pm
Saturday - 7pm
Sunday - 1pm
Where: Pilbeam Theatre, Rockhampton.