Follow Us on Twitter

Matilda, A Musical - young stars named

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE ROYAL Shakespeare Company has cancelled the first five previews of the West End transfer of Matilda, A Musical, citing issues with the “structural work and extensive installation” of the show at the Cambridge Theatre.

The production will now begin preview performances on October 25, 2011, with press night moved from November 22 to November 24.

Previously Posted: The four young actresses, who will share the title role in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Matilda, A Musical when it opens in the West End, have been named.

They are ten-year-old Eleanor Worthington Cox from Merseyside; 11-year-old Sophia Kiely from London; 11-year-old Cleo Demetriou, who has previously appeared on stage in The Sound of Music and Les Miserables; and 12-year-old Kerry Ingram, who made her debut playing Matilda in the original Stratford cast.

The three teams of eight young performers who make up the rest of the young company have also been announced. They are:

Thomas Atkinson, Jake Bailey, James Beesley, Ruby Bridle, Oonagh Cox, Jemima Eaton, Alicia Gould, Zachary Harris, Callum Henderson, Fleur Houdijk, Jamie Kaye, William Keeler, Lily Laight, Katie Lee, Isobelle Molloy, Jemima Morgan, Toby Murray, Alfie Manser, Lucy May Pollard, Annabel Parsons, Ellie Simons, Louis Suc, Jaydon Vijn and Ted Wilson.

Previously Posted: Casting has been announced for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Matilda, A Musical, which opens at the Cambridge Theatre on November 22, 2011 (previews from October 18).

Joining Bertie Carvel (as Miss Trunchbull), Paul Kaye (Mr Wormwood), Josie Walker (Mrs Wormwood), Lauren Ward (Miss Honey), will be fellow original cast members Marc Antolin, Verity Bentham, Peter Howe, Michael Kent, Melanie La Barrie, Matthew Malthouse, Alastair Parker, Nick Searle and Emily Shaw.

They in turn will be joined by Matthew Clark, Leanne Pinder, Rachel Moran, Lucy Thatcher, Tim Walton and Gary Watson. However, the four young actresses playing the role of Matilda will not be announced until ‘Dahl Day’ – Tuesday, September 13.

Previously Posted: The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Matilda, A Musical, which premiered at Stratford-upon-Avon’s Courtyard Theatre last Christmas, is transferring to the West End – to the Cambridge Theatre, where it opens on November 22, 2011 (previews from October 18).

The move means that Chicago, the long-running Kander and Ebb musical which has been playing at the Cambridge Theatre since 2006, will close on August 27, 2011.

However, following a statement from the producers saying “We are hopeful that Chicago’s record breaking 14-year run in the West End will continue”, it’s thought that the musical, which originated at the Adelphi theatre in 1997, may find a third West End home.

An adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1988 children’s novel, Matilda, A Musical is the story of a special little girl with an extraordinary imagination.

Matilda’s parents think she’s a nuisance; Matilda thinks they’re only interested in watching television. And when they’re not glued to ‘the box’, her mum spends all her time practising ballroom dancing while her dad gloats about his latest dodgy business deal. Life isn’t much better at school, where the monstrous headmistress Miss Trunchbull terrifies students and teachers alike.

Then one day Matilda discovers she has a very special power and decides it’s time the grown ups were taught a lesson.

Reprising their Stratford roles in the West End will be Lauren Ward (Pericles, The Winter’s Tale, RSC, The Sound of Music, London Palladium) as Miss Honey, Bertie Carvel (Rope, Almeida Theatre, Parade, Donmar Warehouse, Coram Boy, National Theatre) as Miss Trunchbull and Paul Kaye and Josie Walker as Matilda’s parents Mr and Mrs Wormwood.

Casting is currently underway to find four young actresses to alternate in the title role in the West End, along with three teams of nine children to play Matilda’s fellow pupils.

The production is directed by Matthew Warchus.

With a book by Dennis Kelly and music and lyrics by Australian comedian Tim Minchin, Matilda, A Musical is designed by Rob Howell, with choreography by Peter Darling, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, musical supervision and orchestration by Chris Nightingale and sound by Simon Baker.

Booking for Matilda opens at 9am on Saturday, May 21, 2011 for initial performances to February 12, 2012.