Meet the Cast: The Sapphires

Meet the Cast!

The Sapphires

Written & Directed by Tony Briggs

Jade Lomas-Ronan – Gail

Gamilaroi & Torres Strait Islander woman, Jade studied at The Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts (ACPA) between 2014-2017 where she received a Diploma of Film Television and Theatre as well as a Certificate IV in Performing Arts and an Advanced Diploma of Performing Arts. During her years at ACPA and since she has performed in various stage roles, TVCs & voice overs. She is very excited to have been given the opportunity to play the role of Gail in The Sapphires.

Lorinda May Merrypor – Julie / Dance Captain 

Darumbal woman, Lorinda is an Australian musical theatre performer originally from Rockhampton, QLD. In 2016, Lorinda graduated from the Griffith University Queensland Conservatorium with a Bachelor of Musical Theatre. While studying, she performed in several concerts, cabarets and theatre productions, including the role of Mimi Marquez in Rent. Lorinda has performed in a wide array of amateur productions in her hometown playing roles such as Nancy in Oliver, Little Inez in Hairspray and Dorothy Brock in 42nd Street. Soon after graduating from the conservatorium, Lorinda made her professional debut as a cast member of the Australian premier of the Broadway award-winning musical, American Idiot. Straight from American Idiot she was then cast in the Australian National tour of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Lorinda is extremely grateful for the opportunities she has had to be able to do what she loves every day and is thrilled to be a part of The Sapphires.

Naarah – Cynthia / Vocal Coach

Naarah is a prize winning young actor, singer, musician and performer who proudly identifies as an Aboriginal woman from the Gidja tribe in the Kimberley WA.

She has trained in voice and music at UTAS, the University of Southampton and the Los Angeles College of Music.

Naarah has appeared as a soloist as well as a performer in various musical productions in Australia and overseas; these include My Fair Lady, Legally Blonde, We Will Rock You, Mary Poppins, 9 to 5, The Addams Family and Pride and Prejudice in the role of Elizabeth Bennett. She has also worked with Opera Van Diemansland on Lucia Di Lammermoor.

Naarah is delighted to be joining HIT Productions to bring one of her favourite stories, The Sapphires, to the stage.

Brittanie Shipway – Kay

A graduate from NIDA in Musical Theatre, Brittanie has already had a varied career ranging from musical theatre to Shakespeare. After studying acting in New York at the Lee Strasberg Institute of Film & Theatre, Brittanie returned home to Australia to make her professional debut at the Hayes Theatre in RPG’s Big Fish (The Witch), and went on to perform in Chapel Off Chapel’s Ordinary Days (Claire), as well as making the semi-finals of the Rob Guest Endowment (2017).

​Brittanie has made appearances on Channel 9, on various children’s shows and The Voice (S3). Since then she has opened for artists such as Damien Leith (Australian Idol), Marlissa (X-Factor), and Taylor Henderson (X-Factor). She has workshopped many original Australian musicals, including Sydney Theatre Company’s Muriel’s Wedding (Rhonda), and New Musicals Australia’s Evie May: A Tivoli Story (Evie May) directed by Damien Ryan. Brittanie has performed at the Hayes Theatre Company’s season launches, as well as Neglected Musical’s Big River,and various readings for New Musicals Australia.  She was assistant director for the premiere production of Mercutio and the Prince of Cats, and directed Jack Of(f) All Trades (Sydney Fringe Festival) and Broadway Reimagined.

Recent performing credits include:  Lauren in Kinky Boots (FreeRain), Mary in Jesus Christ Superstar (Packemin Productions), Fanny Brice in Funny Girl (Theatre & Company), Bianca in Sport for Jove’s Othello, and she appeared in the 8-hour outdoor epic The War of the Roses. Brittanie is currently an arts ambassador for People + Culture And Strategies and Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy.

Mike Smith – Dave / Resident Director 

After two successful HIT tours, The 39 Steps playing Richard Hannay and touring again with HIT in 2018 in the equally successful production of Hotel Sorrento as Dick Bennett, Mike is delighted to be collaborating with Tony Briggs and the wonderful cast and crew of The Sapphires. He relishes the chance to bring this story of family to audiences Australia-wide, in particular some of the far-reaching communities – who don’t often get to see this calibre of show. A 2005 NIDA Graduate, Mike is a Green Room Award Nominee for this portrayal of Tony in Billy Elliot – The Musical, directed by Stephen Daldry. Mike is also known for this TV roles in All Saints and Winners & Losers.

Tibian Wyles – Jimmy

Tibian Wyles, is a descendant from the Girramay and Kalkadoon tribes from North Queensland. He is a graduating  Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Acting at The (ACPA) the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts in Brisbane.

He appeared in ‘Black Diggers’ written by Tom Wright and directed by Wesley Enoch, which Premiered at the 2014 Sydney Festival and toured onward to a sold out season at Queensland Theatre Company as part of the Brisbane Festival. Tibian most recently appeared in Legs on the Wall’s production ‘The Man with the Iron Neck’ written by Ursula Yovich and directed by Josh Bond and Gavin Robbins which premiered at Brisbane Festival 2018 then toured major festivals around the country in 2019, Sydney Festival, Darwin Festival and Adelaide Festival.

Tibian has appeared in several ACPA productions: Oedipus the King, Romeo & Juliet, Spirit Of the Lore, CYRANO de Bergerac and The Robbers. He is also an Ambassador for DigiYouth Arts working with Indigenous students, working with them to present the play ‘Glad Tomorrow’.

Tibian is also a member of international dance group ‘ DJUKI MALA’ (Chooky Dancers), he has travelled across Europe and Asia performing contemporary Dance,Comedy mixed with Traditional  Aboriginal culture.

His other dance appearances include; with: ‘Baru ‘ AFC Final Draw at the Opera House, ‘Treaty’ Opening of the Brisbane Festival, ‘Baru ‘ Clancestry, ‘Baru ‘Byron Bay Blues Festival and ‘Backwards’ Queensland Poetry Festival.

Anthony Lim – Joe

Anthony Lim is an Australian actor born and raised in Melbourne. The majority of Anthony’s training is derived from Deakin University where he has undertaken a study of the fine arts (theatre and film). To further enhance his skills, Anthony has also studied under Shaun Goss (NIDA) and Maria Efthmiopoulos (2 Divas). A film and television actor, Anthony has appeared on Robert Connolly’s Barracuda (2016), Neil Triffett’s EMO the musical (2016) and Emma Freeman’s Glitch (2019). Anthony is excited to make his theatrical debut on Tony Brigg’s The Sapphires (2019). Anthony will be portraying Joe (Tran Van Hai), a Vietnamese boy searching for his family who crosses paths with the Sapphires. Outside of acting, Anthony has a passion for boxing. The sweet science has taught him how to remain calm under pressure as getting punched in the face is far scarier than forgetting a few lines.

Terry Yeboah – Robby

Graduating with a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts from the VCA, Terry has worked for the Red Stitch Actors Theatre, Melbourne Theatre Company, Black Swan Theatre (Perth), Malthouse Theatre, Queensland Theatre Company, Capital Theatre, Princess Theatre, La Mama. Terry performed and toured a one man play titled ‘Boxman’, written for him by the well-known writer Daniel Keen. Since finishing up an extensive Australian & international tour with Disney’s ‘The Lion King’, Terry co-directed ANJA performed at the Fairfax Studio, Art Centre Melbourne to sell-out crowds, being awarded the highest selling gross sales since the opening of the studio. Terry has been a guest Alumni speaker for the Graduating students of VCA, NIDA & WAAPA.


The Sapphires

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