Cast And Creatives
Nick Purdie has been seen on stages across New Zealand and internationally for almost 20 years having made his is professional debut in 2003 in the NZ Opera Company’s productions of Tosca and Carmen. After graduating with a BAppA in Performing Arts (Musical Theatre) and Diploma in Singing in 2012 he spent 7 months headlining for The Tuxedos at Dubai’s famous Rock Bottom Club.
Following this he returned to NZ to continue his career performing in many productions both in New Zealand across the globe. Most recently Nick performed in the G&T Productions NZ Tour of Jersey Boys as Male Ensemble and understudying the role of Tommy Devito.
Notable Performance Credits include –
Bob Crewe in Jersey Boys, Onstage Swing and first cover Franz, Baron Elberfeld and Her Zeller in the West End International Tour of The Sound Of Music, Sammy in Blood Brothers, Bert in Mary Poppins, Elle’s Dad/Dewey in Legally Blonde, Curtis Jackson and Eddie Souther in Sister Act, Corney Collins in the NZ Premiere of Hairspray, William Barfee in 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee, Luke in the NZ Premiere of Altar Boyz, 42nd Street, Godspell, High School Musical, The Breakfast Club, Matt Mulholland: Beyond Emotion and Lonely Heart.
Nick has appeared as a guest vocalist for Beyond The Barricade during their NZ and Australian Tours as well as underscore_ and Monster Songs at Gardens Magic for WITCH Music Theatre. In 2008 he performed as a featured vocalist at Tribute 08’, as part of the NZ Governments tribute to New Zealand’s Vietnam War veterans and their families.
Nicks directing/choreography credits include productions of Chess, Piers Chater Robinsons Peter Pan the Musical, Lonely Heart, Matt Mulholland – Beyond Emotion and Camp.
A keen advocate for musical theatre education, in 2015 Nick founded the successful Triple Threat Academy NZ which tours the country providing opportunities for young performers to take part in musical theatre workshops with leading industry professionals to help encourage performing arts amongst the youth of Aotearoa.
When not onstage Nick has continued to work in NZ and overseas in production roles as an Associate Producer, Company Tour Manager and Production Assistant for a number of productions. Highlights include Cinderella (NZ), War Horse (NZ and Hong Kong), The Mousetrap (NZ), Potted Potter (NZ, Hong Kong and Australia), Shaolin Warriors (NZ), Beyond The Barricade (NZ and Australia), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (NZ), 1984 (NZ) and The Play That Goes Wrong (NZ).
Resident Musical Director
Mark is a known theatre practitioner with a wealth of professional experience. His professional piano & keyboard credits include the international touring productions of ‘Wicked‘, ‘West Side Story‘, ‘Aladdin‘, ‘School Of Rock‘ and ‘The Book Of Mormon‘ as well as large local productions of ‘Phantom of the Opera‘, ‘Mamma Mia‘, ‘Evita‘, ‘We Will Rock You‘, ‘City of 100 Lovers‘ and ‘Sister Act‘. He regularly plays for events through his company, Four4 Music Services Ltd, and accompanies performances, exams and cabaret in Auckland.
As an educator, Mark regularly tutors for school holiday programmes, including the Junior Theatre NZ Pilot Programme, StageAntics and the Broadway Dreams Foundation NZ. He also provides audition/ performance coaching for musical theatre performers.
Mark is also the current Music Director for the Auckland Performing Arts Academy.
A graduate of Unitec’s Acting for Screen and Theatre and a trained singer, Paul’s recent credits include Titus Andronicus in TITUS at the Pop Up Globe, as well as national tours of Pirates of Penzance and Buddy Holly the Musical.
Passionate about puppetry as a child, it wasn’t until 2016 that Paul became involved in puppetry professionally, when he was cast as a principal puppeteer at Whoa! Studios in Henderson, Auckland. During his four years based there, Paul performed in several seasons of live shows, originating the role of Custard in the Custard’s World Adventures, as well as designing, fabricating and performing new puppet characters. Mentored by Muppet veteran Peter Linz, Paul’s work at Whoa! Studios can be seen in season one of Custard’s World and Custard’s World: Kea Kaha, both currently streaming on TVNZ on Demand.
Since 2018 Paul has been the puppeteer of Slingshot NZ’s mascot, Stu, and as a puppet-maker and puppeteer Paul had a busy 2020, creating and co-performing the two cheeky cows on Pio Terei Tonight, the puppet mascot for the brand No Ugly, as well as the momma and baby puppets in Ha the Unclear’s music video for their single, Strangers (nominated for Best Narrative in the Berlin Music Video Awards). He also collaborated with award-winning director Alyx Duncan on her forthcoming short film, Fear Becomes Her, and was a puppeteer on the Netflix/Warner Bros. adaption of the graphic novel, Sweet Tooth, which premieres its first season on Netflix in 2021.
Liesl Eksteen graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Arts (Dance) at Whitireia Performance Centre in 2014. She is now the Lead Tutor running the Commercial Dance course at Te Auaha Institute of Creativity, Wellington.
Having trained in dance all her life, Liesl succeeded as a professional company dancer using her talents to travel the world choreographing and performing in numerous television shows, corporate floorshows, music videos and musicals. Living in London for two years, Liesl was able to expand her opportunities by teaching and performing in the UK. She was then given the opportunity to move to India for a six-month Bollywood dance contract working with world class choreographers in Bollywood movies, music videos and VIP events.
Liesl now enjoys passing her knowledge on to others. As the lead tutor of Commercial Dance, she teaches, choreographs, directs performances, mentors, works administrations and is involved in networking the students into the industry during their studies. Liesl still involves herself in New Zealand-based performances such as performing in World of Wearable Arts, touring shows and local corporate work. She is thrilled to be the Resident Choreographer for Madagascar The Musical and to be working alongside their wonderful creative team.
Singer, actor, TV presenter, content creator and now, professional chef – the term “triple threat” doesn’t even begin to describe performer Andrew Papas. Andrew’s list of career achievements would make for an exhausting read for someone decades into their career, let alone an under-30.
Born in South Africa, Andrew’s family emigrated to NZ when he was eight and settled on Auckland’s North Shore. The stage called to Andrew at a young age; he has been appearing in theatre, in on-stage musicals and hosting TV shows throughout his teens and 20s, including roles in Evita, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, Disco Inferno, High School Musical and Grease. He has also hosted Sticky TV as a core presenter and co-hosted the ZM Chart show.
A self-described perfectionist who is “always on a mission,” Andrew is excited by new projects, so when the opportunity came up to audition for a spot in a new band, Andrew jumped at the chance. The 2012 competition run by The Edge radio station selected six of NZ’s most talented male singers to form the super-group, Titanium. They became a record-breaking pop band, whose melodic harmonies and power-packed vocals helped them win over the country. During his time in Titanium, Andrew completed two sold-out nationwide tours with the band; opened for international artists Mariah Carey, Jason Derulo, Hot Chelle Rae, Will I Am and Cher Lloyed; achieved two gold-selling albums and performed the USA national anthem in New York at the world famous Madison Square Garden, for the game between New York Knicks and Boston Celtics.
Since announcing his departure from Titanium in December 2015, Andrew launched his solo career with his debut single “Burn It Down”, debuting at #1 on the NZ Heatseeker charts; “Troublemaker” reached #2; “Magical” debuting at #4 on the Hot 20 NZ Singles Chart and the song “Girl” debuted at #20 on the Official NZ Top 40 charts. Andrew is also in high demand as a social media content creator.
Andrew lives in Auckland with his wife, Megan, his son, Bastian and Bichon X Griffon dog, Leo. In his downtime he loves cooking and fitness in equal amounts; going for bush walks, watching movies, plays and musicals; traveling and learning about new cultures.
He brings his performer’s passion to whatever role he is undertaking – whether it’s broadcasting, hosting/MCing, voice-work or content creation – all delivered with his trademark positivity and natural warmth.
South African born LeRoi has been singing publicly since the age of 4 from Kindergarten recitals to joining the Durban Boys Choirs for a year and almost getting kicked out of school for missing too many morning classes while Touring The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe was his first musical outing.
LeRoi Attended the Lady Grey Arts Academy under B Gresse Former Musical Director of the Drakensburg Boys Choir. It was at LGAA where he got his first Ballet shoes. Loved them, hardly took them off…
After moving to New Zealand with his family in 2003 he studied at Wellington Performing Arts Centre before going to NASDA in Christchurch, where he graduated with his Bachelor of Performing Arts. Credits whilst training include Once on this Island, My Favourite Year and Witches of Eastwick.
Notable performance credit include: Chicago (Showbiz Christchurch), The Producers (The Court Theatre), Mercedes and Choreographer in La Cage Aux Folles (Showbiz Queenstown), Seaweed in the NZ Premiere of Hairspray and Kenickie in Grease (Wellington Musical Theatre) and Angel and Tom Collins in two separate productions of RENT.
LeRoi Is very excited to joining the talented team bringing Madagascar come to life and is honoured to have the privilege to becoming Marty and taking you on a fun filled adventure to the wild.
Kristin Paulse is a South African born, Auckland-based singer-songwriter and actress.
She is seen active predominantly in musical theatre and was recently awarded Best Actress in a Musical for her lead role in First Date. Her other credits include We Will Rock You, Bring It On, Hairspray, Rent, and The Color Purple to list a few.
In 2018, she was invited to partake in the Broadway Dreams initiative which saw her performing in New York City alongside Broadway star Jai’Len Josey and mentored by some of Broadway’s top creatives such as Dancing with the Star’s Spencer Liff, Glee’s Alex Newell and Tony nominated actress, Jenn Colella. Kristin will also be seen performing in the Auckland Live Cabaret Festival performing alongside Brady Peeti and Paul Fagamalo in a show the powerhouse trio have self-written.
Outside musical theatre, Kristin is also an R&B artist making her music debut under the stage name, KRISTN with the release of her first single, ‘Seasons’ on all streaming platforms. Having most recently returned home after touring New Zealand with Showtime Australia as Tina Turner in the tribute show, TINA: Simply the Best and backing vocals for the ABBA tribute show, Dancing Queen, she is so grateful and excited to get back on another tour with the incredible cast and crew of Madagascar the Musical.
When she is not treading the boards Kristin can be found at AUT finishing her degree in Communications with a major in radio, in her music room doing vocal coaching or simply cuddled up with her dog Minnie.
Born and bread in Whakatāne, Māori/Irish performer Bailea Twomey found her passion for singing and performing from a young age and has had the pleasure of gracing stages both in New Zealand and internationally.
Now based in Pōneke, Bailea recently starred in WITCH Music Theatre Productions of Roxy: A New Hollywood Cabaret following appearances in The Purple People Eater Pop Concert at Cuba Duba and underscore_.
At 23, Bailea has had played many dream roles including Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family, Veronica Sawyer in Heathers and the powerhouse role of Elphaba in Wicked. Bailea has also enjoyed time as a featured vocalist with Royal Caribbean aboard ‘Vision of the Seas’.
Ben has immersed himself in theatre since graduating from the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art (NASDA) with a Bachelor of Performing Arts.
His previous credits as an actor include Romeo and Juliet; Mary Poppins; Cops and Robbers; Legally Blonde the Musical; The Ugly Duckling; Chicago; Titus Andronicus; Jesus Christ Superstar; The Wind in the Willows; Les Liaisons Dangereuses; Jersey Boys (The Court Theatre); Once on Chunuk Bair (Imagine Charitable Trust); RAP-unzel; Botfarm 2014 (New Zealand Playhouse); Mamma Mia; Wicked and Les Misérables (Showbiz Christchurch).
Ben’s stage management credits include Catch Me If You Can; Severely Queer (Blackboard Theatre Collective); Sweet Charity; Ragtime (NASDA); Songs for a New World (So Keen Productions); The Father (The Court Theatre) and he served as assistant stage manager on Hudson & Halls Live!
His directing credits include Time Machine; Crash Bash: Reaction; Crash Bash: What’s the Rush?; Crach Bash: What if? (The Court Theatre); The Isolation Mixtape and co-directed Waiting in the Wings (Blackboard Theatre Collective).
Ben and a number of his talented colleagues founded the Christchurch-based theatre company, Blackboard Theatre Collective.
He is a proud member of Equity New Zealand.
Wellington based singer creative, Matt Mulholland, has been performing all over the world for the past twelve years. With over 60 million views on YouTube, his brand of humour and authenticity entertains a wide variety of audiences. He currently spends his time teaching musical theatre at Te Auaha, and working at his recording studio ‘The Cabin’ where he develops and produces new local artists.
After recently returning from the UK, Matt released his first studio album ‘After You Grow’ in 2020. He now continues to release content, perform live around New Zealand, and still believes he will one day take over the world with the power of love.
Private / Mort / Ensemble
Rachel McSweeney is a passionate Wellington-based musical theatre performer. Her most recent performance was starring as Ariel in Te Auaha’s production of ‘Footloose’ (2021). Growing up in Christchurch, she performed in an array of amateur productions including ‘Bugsy Malone’, ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘West Side Story’.
Upon leaving school in 2019, Rachel completed a year at Victoria University studying Theatre and Art. She was then inspired to audition for the Musical Theatre Programme at Te Auaha, and after completing her first year of studies, was awarded the ‘Meredith Marshall Memorial Scholarship’ for overall excellence in Year 1. She is currently studying towards a New Zealand Diploma and Bachelor of Creativity. Rachel is looking forward to working alongside such an incredible cast and crew!
Kowalski / Ensemble
Jenny is thrilled to be making her debut with GMG Productions! She grew up in Christchurch and graduated from the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art in 2019 under the tutelage of Nick Hollamby and Angela Johnson. While studying, Jenny’s highlights included Niki Harris in Curtains, Emily in Earthquakes in London, Chava in Fiddler on the Roof, Wild Cabbage, 42nd Street and writing an original song cycle with 4 other classmates set in an airport.
Since graduating, Jenny has toured in professional productions including Princess Anna in Let It Go – The Songs of Frozen in Concert, Kowalski/Ensemble in Madagascar the Musical and Thing 1 in The Cat in the Hat New Zealand Tour with Showcase Entertainment. She will be appearing in the company of Matilda the Musical with Showbiz Christchurch later this year. She has also performed with Blackboard Theatre Collective and is a member of professional entertainment company EPIC Entertainment and JK Performing Arts.
Jenny also teaches dance at Studio 42 Performing Arts and is a proud member of Equity New Zealand.
Rico / Candy / Lynn Lemur
Lucy is a graduate of the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art (NASDA) with a Bachelor of Performing Arts (Music Theatre). Lucy’s recent performance credits include Cinderella (GMG Productions) 42nd Street as Peggy Sawyer, Holiday Inn as Linda Mason, Urinetown, Curtains, It’s Only Life and Unforgiven Harvest (NASDA). She also played the flute for Fiddler on the Roof. Lucy’s other performance credits include; Sister Act (Showbiz Christchurch) and CocaCola Christmas in the Park.
In 2019 Lucy attended the New Zealand Singing School and had the opportunity to work with an international faculty and was awarded the Sewell Family scholarship for ‘Most Promising Music Theatre Student’.
In the same year, Lucy won the New Zealand Dance Awards Pro-Am Music Theatre Award and was awarded a scholarship to train at Broadway Dance Center’s Winter Intensive in New York City.
Mason / Lars / Ensemble
Jack Shatford is a graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). During his studies, Jack played Herman in Sweet Charity, Joey Primo/Ensemble in Rock of Ages, and David Posner in The History Boys. Other highlights include Tommy/Merv as well as Dance Captain and Swing in Strictly Ballroom The Musical, and David Understudy/Ensemble in Company. Upon graduation in 2019, he was the recipient of the Music Theatre International Australasian Award.
Recent credits include Cinderella for GMG Productions and He Says, She Says for Blackboard Theatre Collective. He was assistant director for On the Town at NASDA and Elf Jnr at JK Performing Arts. Jack has also appeared in many productions for Showbiz Christchurch, and in Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park. When not performing, Jack loves working as a music theatre creative and dance tutor, putting his passion back into the community.
Skipper / Maurice
Based in Auckland, Cole made his professional debut in 2017 with the Tim Bray Theatre Company in Puff the Magic Dragon.
His other credits include City of 100 Lovers (Templar Productions), CATS (NZ Tour, Sierra Investments), Yesterday (NZ Tour, Stetson Productions), Greedy Cat (Tim Bray Theatre Company) along with workshops for new productions.
Currently, Cole is the Programme Director for the National Youth Theatre and runs his own venture Auckland Artists Network.
His proudest moment to date was performing at Waitress Karaoke on Broadway with Todrick Hall and Colleen Ballinger. Cole is very excited to work alongside such an incredible cast!
Bryn has recently completed his Bachelor of Performing Arts (Musical Theatre) at the National Academy of Singing & Dramatic Art (NASDA). Originally from Dunedin, he has been heavily involved with the arts, featuring in Grease: The Arena Spectacular (Eugene) & the Fortune Theatre’s Into The Woods (The Steward). His NASDA credits include: 42nd Street (Billy Lawlor) Curtains, It’s Only Life, Urinetown (Bobby Strong) & Holiday Inn (Ted Hanover).
His NASDA credits include: 42nd Street (Billy Lawlor) Curtains, It’s Only Life, Urinetown (Bobby Strong) & Holiday Inn (Ted Hanover). Since graduating Bryn has appeared in Christ, What A Night! (Angel Gabriel), Severely Queer: Time For Tea (The Viscount) & touring Aotearoa this year for NZ Playhouse.
Performing for the first time at the age of 10, George has taken the time to evolve into a great young man, and awesome performer. Now at the young age of 20, he finds himself in one of the best opportunities of his life. George has done many shows, but to highlight a few favourites, he’s Beast in ‘Beauty And The Beast’ and Donkey in ‘Shrek The Musical.’
Ko Puhangatohora toku maunga
Ko Ngāpuhi toku iwi
Ko Pukerata me Te Puea ōku marae
Ko Tauranga Moana toku kāinga
Ko Hiku O Te Ika toku whānau
Ko George Hiku toku ingoa
After graduating from Tauranga Boys College in 2018, the next year he decided to study abroad at an arts academy known as Associated Studios. Originally based in London, the academy decided to create a base in Melbourne in order to help grow the potential of young theatre performers in Australasia, and assist in shaping their dreams of the stage. Without a sight of hesitation George jumped on the opportunity, and in November of 2019, he graduated with a foundation certificate in musical theatre. An honour which truly humbles him to this day.
All these accomplishments, however, remind George of how grateful he is to be in this position, and is always reminded by his friends and family that only hard work and perseverance gets you far.