The Rob Guest Endowment Award is now in its eighth year, recognising and supporting rising Australian musical theatre performers. The Endowment was established following the sudden and unexpected death of musical theatre icon Rob Guest in 2008 and is intended to nurture and develop young talents.
The six performers competing for the $20,000 prize this year are Du Toit Brendenkamp (The Sound of Music), Hilary Cole (Kinky Boots), Linden Furnell (Kinky Boots), Stephanie Jones (The Sound of Music), Genevieve Kingsford (The Light In The Piazza) and Matthew Predny (Kinky Boots). They’ll compete next Monday, November 14 in a Gala concert at the Sydney Lyric Theatre.
We’re asking each finalist to share five of their biggest inspirations, and here are Genevieve Kingsford selections. Genevieve has just played Clara in The Light in the Piazza at the Arts Centre Melbourne.
Get Happy – Judy Garland
Judy Garland was an absolute natural at performing. Such a joy to watch.
Beyoncé’s Super Bowl Halftime show
Beyoncé. Because girl power. She is confident, fierce and commanding.
Almost Real – Kelli O’Hara
I was absolutely mesmerised the first time I heard Kelli O’Hara sing. I thought it was the most perfect voice in the world and thought, I want to sound like that!
Loved him as a comedian, then as the writer/composer of Matilda, then saw him perform Judas in the Jesus Christ Superstar Arena Tour. Tim Minchin is everything.
The Color Purple – Cynthia Erivo
We had a masterclass with her at the London School of Musical Theatre, she was a guest judge at a singing competition I got to the finals for and I saw her in The Color Purple in London before she was snapped up and shipped to Broadway. She is the most incredible performer I know and now a Tony Award winning actress; I adore and admire Cynthia Erivo.