Musical Theatre graduate Shubshri Kandiah has had all of her wishes granted after winning the lead role of Princess Jasmine in Disney’s smash hit musical Aladdin, her first major starring role.
The 22-year-old graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium’s Bachelor of Musical Theatre at the end of last year, and is now the star of the country’s biggest show.
She played Princess Jasmine for the final weeks of the Brisbane run at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) and is now wowing audiences in her hometown, Perth.
“I found out through my agent who flew to Brisbane and caught up with me over coffee,” she says. “I was pouring honey into my chai when my agent broke the news and the honey just went all over the table!
“I was excited but a part of me didn’t really believe it. There are still times when I feel like it’s not real.
“It is a dream come true to be chosen by the international creative team. They’ve shown a lot of faith in me, and I will strive to give my best on stage.”
Shubshri has always been a fan of Disney’s classic movie musicals, and had a special connection to Aladdin.
“It was the first film with a princess on screen who looked like me. And now to bring that character to life on stage is an incredible experience,” she says.
“As a kid, I saw Jasmine and wanted to be like her because she was a beautiful Disney princess – but, as an adult, I really admire her strength, intelligence and that she is never afraid to voice her opinion.
“She is what I see a strong woman to be, and I’m so excited to step into her shoes and learn from her.”
“My three years studying at the Queensland Conservatorium provided me with so many skills that I have taken with me.”
Shubshri began performing at a young age, learning classical Indian dance, ballet and violin. She moved across the country from Perth after being accepted into the Queensland Conservatorium’s renowned Bachelor of Musical Theatre.
During her studies, Shubshri dazzled audiences in productions such as Sweet Charity and West Side Story, and was a featured vocalist with the Queensland Pops Orchestra.
Shortly before graduating last year, she performed the role of Ayah in Opera Queensland’s The Pearlfishers, and was chosen to sing a duet with Broadway legend Liz Callaway at QPAC.
“My three years studying at the Queensland Conservatorium provided me with so many skills that I have taken with me,” she says.
“From voice warm-ups to script analysis, dance technique and a knowledge of vocal health that will allow me to perform eight shows a week – I felt more than prepared for a career in the industry.”
Aladdin has established itself as one of the biggest new blockbusters in recent years, playing to more than 6 million people worldwide.