Amy Manford and Genevieve McCarthy chat DISNEY IN CONCERT: A DREAM IS A WISH!

Amy Manford and Genevieve McCarthy are bringing Disney magic back to Perth!

Amy Manford and Genevieve McCarthy | Photo by Ross Swanborough

The powerhouse performing pair decided to start their boutique production company, MM Creative, after returning from London last year. The female-lead production company produce concerts and semi-staged musicals, showcasing both internationally acclaimed performers as well as up-and-coming stars. Their first production, The Magical Music of Animation, premiered at the Perth Concert Hall in 2020. Their new show, Disney in Concert: A Dream is a Wish, will play 3 exclusive shows this October.

When reflecting on their first show, Amy and Genevieve were completely blown away by the support they received.

All of our work had disappeared overnight and theatres were closed worldwide. We decided that if we were going to work in 2020 we were going to have to create performance opportunities for ourselves. We were so lucky in Perth in late 2020 to have our theatres re-opening (albeit with capacity restrictions), so we decided to put on our first concert The Magical Music of Animation at the Perth Concert Hall with the West Coast Philharmonic.  We got in touch with Disney who were so wonderfully supportive and granted us the rights to perform a handful of their orchestrations. The entire concert came together in 5 short weeks, but was a wonderful success. It felt so amazing to share the stage with so many fellow musicians and performers after such a long hiatus – it was an incredibly moving experience.

Aside from being successful theatre producers, both Amy and Genevieve are extremely accomplished and internationally renowned performers in their own rights.

Amy has been moving up through the arts world her entire life. “My performing career actually started when I was a Rhythmic Gymnast at the age of 12,” said Amy. “At the Australian National Champions, I was definitely known as the gymnast who just loved performing for the crowd. I think it was clear that I would eventually grow up to be on a different type of stage! I switched from violin to voice in year 10 at school when a teacher suggested I might have sung more beautifully than I played the violin! I went on to complete my Bachelor of Music at WAAPA and then moved over to London to study my Masters at the prestigious Royal College of Music. I was lucky enough to sing for numerous members of the Royal Family at Buckingham Palace and Australia House whilst studying. Before graduating college, I auditioned for Christine Daaé on a whim and a couple of months later, I was making my West End debut in Phantom of the Opera. I am now back in Australia about to reprise the same role with Opera Australia at the Sydney Opera House and The Arts Centre Melbourne.”

Photo by Jarrad Seng

Genevieve also started performing at a young age, but had a career shift and moved into the Legal field before her return. “My career started at an early age when I appeared as Little Cosette in the 10th Anniversary Australian Tour of Les Miserables (Cameron Mackintosh)It sparked in me an incredible passion for musical theatre and I continued to work quite extensively in theatre and TV throughout high school. Once I graduated, I went to Law School and worked as a lawyer for a few years. I had one of those movie moments one day at work when I realised just how much I missed performing and quit on the spot.  I packed my bags and three weeks later moved to London to train at the Royal Academy of Music. Once I graduated I worked in theatre, film and animation in London until the pandemic struck. A real highlight for me was originating the role of Aphrodite in the world premiere of new musical Mythic and voicing the character of Aubrey in Thomas & Friends.”

The girls admit that they have adored Disney since they were young, and that the opportunity to bring these magical stories to the stage. Every Disney character has an admirable quality of their own – from courage, to strength, to resilience. While there is something to learn from all of them, I did have to ask if the ladies had a favourite.

“If I had to pick a favourite Disney character, which is an impossible task, I would say Ariel just because I would watch The Little Mermaid every Saturday morning with my sisters and that film brings back such special, treasured memories for me,” said Genevieve. “Cinderella was definitely the first princess I fell in love with, mainly because of her blue sparkly gown! However, I always thought the coolest princess was Mulan because I admire her strength and resilience and she encouraged me to be confident no matter what obstacle stood in my way,” reflected Amy.

Disney in Concert: A Dream is a Wish is a celebration of both the classic and contemporary scores from everyone’s favourite Disney films. Audiences can expect 65 members of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, a quartet of Australian musical theatre stars and maestro Jessica Gethin bring hit songs from The Lion King, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Moana and more to life. To top it all off, original Disney film footage will be projected live on the big screen at the Riverside Theatre. It truly will be a treat for all ages.


MM Creative Productions present DISNEY IN CONCERT: A DREAM IS A WISH

Playing at Perth’s Riverside Theatre from October 29 – October 30

Book now at www.ticketek.com.au or by calling 1300 558 878.

Gabi Bergman

Gabi Bergman is a Melbourne-based performer and educator. She holds a Double Arts degree in Theatre Studies and Film/Screen Studies and a Master of Teaching (Secondary Education). Gabi has always been an avid lover of theatre, specifically musicals, and spends way too much money than she’d like to admit on tickets. Her most prized possession is her crate of theatre programs.

Gabi Bergman

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