Meet our Sophie! Madeline Grice wins leading role in MAMMA MIA!

Gold Coast, there’s a new dancing queen in town!

From hundreds of audition tapes and an intense musical boot camp, down to four fantastic finalists, one lucky performer has been crowned MAMMA MIA!’s leading lady, set to play Sophie Sheridan.

Madeline Grice, the 25-year-old local performer from Ashmore was today announced the winner of 1029 Hot Tomato and Matt Ward Entertainment’s MAMMA MIA! Star Search, officially landing the lead role in the smash-hit musical, on stage this June 19 to July 11 at The Star Gold Coast.


Matt Ward said he was certain the Gold Coast would unearth a new and emerging talent, ready to shine in his latest production.

“We knew we wouldn’t have to go far to find our Gold Coast ‘Sophie Sheridan’, and as expected, when the audition tapes rolled in, we were spoilt for choice,” he said.

Following the two-day boot camp with 16 performers, Matt and his creative team narrowed the finalists down to four, all of whom were oozing talent in their own unique ways.

“1029 Hot Tomato listeners were encouraged to vote, and we are thrilled that the Gold Coast went to such lengths to show their support, ultimately recognising Madeline, whose vitality and persona captures exactly who we pictured our Sophie to be.”

As the winner of Matt Ward Entertainment and 1029 Hot Tomato’s Star Search, Madeline will receive a 6-week paid cast contract for the 2021 Gold Coast production of MAMMA MIA! starring as Sophie Sheridan, as well as four months of intensive vocal training with Matt Ward Vocal Studios.

In what was certainly serendipity, Madeline grew up listening to ABBA with a mother who was a “complete fanatic” and pet pig called Fernando.

“I not only loved the music but also that the production features two strong leading ladies.”

“My dad passed away when I was younger, so to see a single mother, daughter relationship play out to the soundtrack of one of my favourite bands… I can understand why I was and still am so drawn and attached to the story. Not to mention, it’s also so fun, colourful and I love that people know the songs so they can sing along!” she said.

MAMMA MIA! tells the much-loved story of Sophie, a young bride-to-be whose quest to discover the identity of her father draws three men from her mother’s past back to a Greek Island on the eve of her wedding, set to the toe-tapping songs of ABBA.

And singing along to the classic ABBA hits is exactly what the Gold Coast is set to do, as MAMMA MIA! plays for a three-week season at The Star Gold Coast from June 19 to July 11.

Tickets are on sale now via For more information on Matt Ward Entertainment or MAMMA MIA! the musical, head to the website: