Back in 2007, a young 12-year-old blew us away with her powerhouse vocals on the reality TV show Australia’s Got Talent. Bonnie Anderson took out the title and has since carved a very successful recording career for herself. Ever challenging herself and growing in her artistry, Anderson is now venturing into the world of musical theatre as she makes her debut in Godspell Reimagined alongside Mark Dickinson, Chris Southall and special guest star Colleen Hewett. We got to chat to the lovely songstress about this new phase of her career, and what’s coming up after the show.
Godspell! Musical Theatre! Why this sudden career shift?
Being on stage is my favourite place to be, whether its singing, in musicals or acting. What more would I love than putting those things together and getting to perform and share the stage with other incredible talents in this show.
Are you at all religious? If not, did you attend various church services to gain insight into your character exploration and further your understanding of the show? How did this help, if at all?
I grew up in a very open-minded family. Mum and I would go to church every now and then on Sundays; we always loved the musical side of church, and the message of being kind to others. So I guess I kind of had an idea about the religious aspect of the show.
Has this show opened up your thinkings into religion and what it means to society, and you personally?
When I was introduced to Godspell it opened my mind and I’ve definitely learnt a lot about the Bible through my character, which has been a great learning experience. I love the way this music isn’t too serious though – it’s fun and playful, but it’s got substance.
You’re very close to opening night. What was a highlight for you during the rehearsal process?
Definitely getting to know the rest of the amazing cast. It’s the first time I’ve done musical theatre, so there were so many amazing learning moments getting this show together. It was mind-blowing to see how much work went into putting this show together from behind the scenes. I can’t wait for opening night, and the rest of the shows. It’s been really great stepping out of my comfort zone.
What was a challenge that you set out to overcome?
I’m so used to being on stage as a solo, original artist and just being “me” on stage. It’s a totally different experience playing someone else and really getting into that character, and interacting with the others, bouncing off each actor.
What are you most looking forward to when the show opens?
I’m excited for the show to come together, and I can’t wait to see how the audience interacts with it. And for everyone to see this side of me – it’s my first ever musical and I’m excited for people to see that.
What do you want people to take away from this show?
This show is about being good, loving, and caring to one another. That’s what I’ve taken away from the musical, and I hope others to do. It’s a good message to live by.
Can we expect to see you more in the musical theatre world now?
I’ve enjoyed this experience a lot, and I’m excited to see what the future brings. Definitely more music, that’s for sure!
What new music have you been working on, if you’ve been able to, while rehearsing for this show?
I’ve really dedicated my time to this musical. I wanted to give it everything I have, but I have a writing trip planned to LA when the show closes, and I’m excited to get back into my own writing.
What does success mean to you?
Success means being happy, recognising all of your wins, no matter how big or small – that’s really important.
Godspell Reimagined is playing at Arts Centre Melbourne until Sunday November 6th. For tickets and further info, head here.