Many artists wait a lifetime before receiving either critical acclaim or acknowledgement from experts in their industry, and then there are others who set the stage alight right from the outset of their careers, and thus receive both within their first few years in the industry.
One such artist is vibrant musical theatre performer and Naledi Theatre Award Nominee, Matthew Counihan, who has been involved in a variety of large scale and world class musicals, gracing some of world’s top stages.
After matriculating from Crawford College Sandton in 2003, Matthew graduated from the University of Johannesburg with a degree in Psychology. However the charm of the Arts held a stronger allure. It was at the University Johannesburg Arts Academy where he would gain the necessary training and experience. Although Matthew was not the traditional Drama/Music graduate, this did not stop him from pursuing this dream of performing.
Matthew has had the privilege of performing in Westside Story (Tony), Hair (Paul), Cabaret (Emcee), Peter Pan, the Westend hit Saturday Night Fever (Bobby C – for which he received a Naledi Theatre Award Nomination for Best Male Newcomer), The Full Monty (Nathan), Snow White, The Rocky Horror Show (Riff Raff – for which he also received a Naledi Theatre Award Nomination), Pinocchio (Jiminy Cricket), Jersey Boys (Joe Pesci) and many more roles. In addition to stage productions, Matthew is growing his career as an established commercial Voice Over artist and corporate performer as well as teacher.
Towards the end of 2012 Matthew embarked on an overseas adventure with Jersey Boys the multi-award winning Broadway musical where he played Joe Pesci. On his returned Matthew expanded his career into the world of Education where he shares his practical experience in a formal learning environment. He is affectionately known by his peers and students, has his feet firmly planted on the ground, and attributes his success to hard work and “living the dream”.
“I believe that you can be whatever you want to be – there are no limits and boundaries. Our biggest hurdle is that of our own mind – leap over that and the possibilities are endless. I left school with the intention of studying psychology and exploring the human mind (which I did) – instead of doing this in the traditional fashion – life happened. I now create magical characters through my knowledge of what I learnt and share those experiences with audiences and my students. I wouldn’t give it up for the world”, Matthew says.
With Matthew’s never give up attitude and work ethic, along with his zest for life, there is no doubt that the sky’s the limit for this young entertainer and adventurer. Look out for him on the nearest stage to you.