DOC­U­MEN­TARY A FAM­ILY AF­FAIR

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - LIFESTYLE -

THE mu­si­cal theatre world has em­braced the tal­ent of Perth’s Tim Minchin and no one could be more proud than his younger sis­ter Nel Minchin.

The Syd­ney-based pro­ducer, writer and di­rec­tor for tele­vi­sion and on­line spent six months film­ing and edit­ing doc­u­men­tary Matilda and Me, a be­hind the scenes look at bring­ing West End mu­si­cal Matilda to Aus­tralia, which will air on ABC at 7.40pm, April 3.

“Even though it had had huge suc­cess over­seas be­fore it got here, I knew it was a more per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence for Tim to be bring­ing it home,” Minchin said.

“I wanted to do the be­hind the scenes mu­si­cal thing and then in­ter­weave it with the story of the Tim I knew, that I didn’t think other peo­ple nec­es­sar­ily did.

“There’s this idea by some that an out­spo­ken co­me­dian is an in­ter­est­ing choice for com­pos­ing a kid’s mu­si­cal, but with my un­der­stand­ing of him, it wasn’t strange at all.”

The Aus­tralian pro­duc­tion of Matilda premiered in Syd­ney last year, is cur­rently show­ing in Mel­bourne and will open in Perth in Fe­bru­ary of next year.

Minchin is nar­ra­tor on Matilda and Me and co-di­rec­tor with Rhian Skirv­ing, an­other for­mer Perth girl who di­rected doc­u­men­tary Rock n Roll Nerd, which fol­lowed Tim Minchin’s early ca­reer.

“I hadn’t fin­ished uni when she did that,” Minchin, the youngest of four sib­lings, said.

“The ex­pe­ri­ence of see­ing Rhian work is what in­spired me to get into tele­vi­sion, and be­cause I hadn’t di­rected a film be­fore we needed to make sure I had a co-di­rec­tor and men­tor. It was a per­fect fit and awe­some to have a co-di­rec­tor be­cause lo­gis­ti­cally I was also very preg­nant by the end of the film­mak­ing process.”

Like her older brother, Minchin stud­ied at UWA and WAAPA fol­low­ing their high school days at Christ Church Gram­mar School and St Hilda’s Angli­can School for Girls re­spec­tively.

“It’s re­ally nice to see some­one who grew up in a nor­mal Perth ex­is­tence can go and use that ex­pe­ri­ence, take it over­seas and it turns out it’s good enough for the West End,” Minchin said.

“It’s luck, hard work and be­grudg­ingly, as his sis­ter, I’ll say he’s quite tal­ented.”

Film­ing took Minchin to Lon­don, New York and LA, where her brother is cur­rently based, to in­ter­view the mu­si­cal’s cre­atives, An­drew Lloyd Web­ber, Mara Wil­son who played Matilda in the 1990s film and Roald Dahl’s wife Felic­ity Dahl.

She also spoke with Tim and Aus­tralian con­trib­u­tors in­clud­ing An­drew Den­ton, Ed­die Per­fect and Kate Mul­vany who have worked with her brother dur­ing his ca­reer.

“It’s in­ter­est­ing to ask your sib­ling’s col­leagues what they’re like be­cause it is a slightly dif­fer­ent side of them,” she said.

Tanya MacNaughton

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d450902

Doc­u­men­tary Matil­daandMe is nar­rated, pro­duced and co-di­rected by Nel Minchin.

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