Western Suburbs Weekly - - Weekly Life - Tanya Macnaughton

THERE was never any doubt in Cle Mor­gan’s mind that she was the right per­son to play the role of li­brar­ian Mrs Phelps in Aus­tralian pro­duc­tion Matilda the Mu­si­cal.

Af­ter all, she had the per­fect in­spi­ra­tion – her mother.

“My mum is Ja­maican and I re­ally iden­tify with the char­ac­ter,” Mor­gan, who grew up in Perth, said.

“Ja­maicans can be gruff some­times and yell their love at you.

“She in­spired it and I found the char­ac­ter easy to get into be­cause she’s not so dis­sim­i­lar to my fam­ily: Ja­maican, lov­ing, loud and emo­tional.

“Ini­tially I wor­ried it would hurt my voice, but you get show-fit and I’m just able to do it eight times a week.”

Perth au­di­ences might recog­nise the John Curtin Col­lege of the Arts grad­u­ate from her early tele­vi­sion work on chil­dren’s drama se­ries Ship to Shore be­fore her time on Aus­tralian Idol in 2003.

De­spite her tele­vi­sion work, Mor­gan’s back­ground is more in live band per­for­mance and her high school dance schol­ar­ship, along with sing­ing and act­ing train­ing, proved the triple threat to move into mu­si­cal the­atre for Hair­spray in 2010.

Based in Mel­bourne, Mor­gan

said it was the magic in Matilda the Mu­si­cal that she loved most of all.

“It’s that lit­tle per­son tak­ing on that gi­ant ball of neg­a­tiv­ity and win­ning,” she said.

“It makes you feel that things like that are pos­si­ble in life, so when you leave the the­atre you have that nice, good feel­ing.”

Now a mother of three, Mor­gan said she was very in tune with all the parental fig­ures on stage – good and bad.

“It’s a story about par­ent­ing as well,” she said.

“There’s a mo­ment with Matilda and her dad at the end; a look on Dan Fred­er­ick­son’s face (who plays Mr Worm­wood) when he asks Matilda if she wants to go with Miss Honey.

“You can see this tiny bit of heart­break in this evil char­ac­ter’s face.

“I get to watch that ev­ery night and it’s just so beau­ti­ful.”

Cle Mor­gan as Mrs Phelps with Matilda.

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