High School Musical: young actor has high hoops


Matthew Walford and Mariah Gonzalez star in the musical.
Matthew Walford and Mariah Gonzalez star in the musical.

YOU would be hard-pressed to find a person as perfect as Matthew Walford to star in Roleystone Theatre’s upcoming adaption of Disney’s High School Musical.

Like his lead character Troy Bolton, Walford himself weighed up pursuing a potential basketball career against his passion for music and performing.

Walford played basketball at Lakeside before deciding his efforts would be better spent elsewhere.

“I grew up watching High School |Musical and singing the songs,” he said.

“Much like Troy, I’ve been playing basketball for a long time and had the opportunity to pursue it more professionally but I chose singing instead. I felt like the character fitted me perfectly and I could bring it to life on stage.”

High School Musical follows high school basketball star Troy and shy, academically-gifted newcomer Gabriella, who discover they share a secret passion for singing.

Walford, who works as a singing and piano teacher at Cockburn Central’s Castlerock Institute of Music, said playing Troy was a great opportunity.

“This is my first lead role and I’m very excited and honoured, although I am nervous,” the Southern River resident said.

“Being the centre of attention puts a lot of pressure on you to not mess up but with the amazing cast I have around me I feel supported in my role.”

Helping calm the nerves was the immediate chemistry between him and co-star Mariah Gonzalez.

“Mariah is lovely,” Walford said.

“We got on from day dot and it’s been easy to connect with her.”

Co-director Brogan Smirke said the show was a high energy, fun-filled teenage drama.

“It has all the trimmings – love, laughter and lyrical phenomenons,” she said.

“While the script is almost identical to the film version, what sets us apart is the creative flair everyone has given to their characters.”

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