Matilda magic sprinkled by Perse Players

The magic of Matilda the Musical JR was brought to the Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre with a rousing Perse Players production.

Based on the classic Roald Dahl children’s novel, audiences flocked to catch the show over a run of four sensational performances, which featured a revolving stage and special effects for an added wow factor.

Perse Theatre Practitioner in Residence Andrew Pritchard, who directed the production, was thrilled the school’s talented actors and singers had had the chance to perform Matilda JR, an abridged hour-long version of the original show.

He said: “Matilda is a truly excellent musical. It’s joyous and energetic and it’s a show that many people have wanted to do for a long time.

“We had a lot of other ideas for this year’s Perse Players production, but once I became aware that it was available to stage as a junior show, I told everyone we had to do this.

“It’s celebrating its 10th anniversary in the West End and it’s very rare you can stage a show that’s still running there. It’s also a classic book and film that pupils have a great affection for.

“To have a show that’s about chasing your dreams, building relationships, tackling massive challenges and overcoming huge obstacles felt like a really great production to do.”

The production featured excellent performances from Katie Richards (Year 11) and Eloise Bowler (Year 9) as Matilda, Toby Owers and Ben Lewis (both Upper Sixth) as Miss Trunchball and Horatia Duggan (Upper Sixth) and Isabella Li-Yan-Hui (Lower Sixth) as Miss Honey.

Mr Pritchard was delighted with how everything had come together from the music and choreography to the work of the cast and Technical Theatre Club crew since starting on Matilda at the start of term.

He said: “It’s the first musical we’ve been able to produce since 2019 and there was an expectation of it being a vibrant and positive event.

“With the matinee, we also had our first relaxed performance, which is a variation of the show adapted for audience members who might benefit from a more relaxed environment because we want to be as inclusive as we can.”

Meanwhile, a charity collection held alongside the performances raised around £600 for the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal and East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.

Mr Pritchard added: “I’m incredibly proud of the cast and crew and they should be of themselves. Around 1,300 people saw the show and the audience reaction was overwhelmingly positive.

“A huge thanks goes to everyone involved as they made it a truly enjoyable and magical experience.”

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