South Auck­land ac­tress in 1984

Papakura Courier - - FRONT PAGE - EMILY FORD

Not a lot of peo­ple get to see Tia Ormsby’s scary side, but that is soon about to change.

The 11-year-old has traded in her big smile to star in the stage adap­ta­tion of Ge­orge Or­well’s dystopian novel, 1984, at ASB Water­front The­atre this month.

It’s a con­trast from the South Auck­lan­der’s first pro­fes­sional pro­duc­tion, also set in 1984 and staged at the ASB Water­front, dance mu­si­cal Billy El­liot in 2016.

This time around she’s star­ing, judg­ing, and de­liv­er­ing punchy lines as the child in the play, a role she shares with a Pukekohe school­girl.

‘‘This is some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent from what I’m used to,’’ Tia says.

‘‘There are way more words and I’m not as happy. But I do get to sing.’’

A nat­u­ral per­former, Tia’s been tread­ing the boards since she was just 3, first as a dancer then find­ing her feet in com­mu­nity the­atre pro­duc­tions.

Her big break came in Auck­land The­atre Com­pany’s Billy El­liot, where she shared the role of lead girl, Deb­bie, for two months, and she hasn’t slowed down since.

She man­ages dance, pi­ano and te reo Ma¯ori lessons on top of shows and school, and once 1984 is over she’s per­form­ing in Fid­dler on the Roof with Manukau Per­form­ing Arts.

It’s no sur­prise to mum, Taw­era Ormsby, that Tia’s ended up where she has, she’s al­ways known her daugh­ter has been unique.

‘‘I re­mem­ber drop­ping her off for her first re­hearsal at Manukau Per­form­ing Arts and to me it felt like I had dropped her at home.

‘‘She’d found her Ormsby says.

With black­outs, tor­ture scenes, blood, and vi­o­lence, 1984 is not a show for the faint-hearted, with some over­seas au­di­ences vom­it­ing and faint­ing.

Tia her­self is too young to watch the whole show, so she knows what goes on in her scenes, but will po­si­tion her­self back­stage with some music or have a nap while she’s not on stage.

‘‘It’s been re­ally good be­cause it’s in­spired con­ver­sa­tions around things she’s too young to un­der­stand fully,’’ Ormsby says.

Part of Auck­land Arts Fes­ti­val, 1984 runs un­til March 25, with tick­ets avail­able at the fes­ti­val’s web­site. peo­ple,’’


Per­form­ing has al­ways come nat­u­rally to Tia Ormsby, who’s landed a role in the stage adap­ta­tion of 1984.

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