Roald Dahl’s Matilda may not seem like the obvious choice of show for a cast of discerning 12-18 year olds, but anyone who attended the Leweston Senior School’s performance of the Broadway Junior Version of this show could not argue that it is, in fact, the perfect choice for any age group.
For five performances, the cast’s high-octane energy and palpable enthusiasm permeated through audiences young and old. The benefit of MTI’s Junior Broadway shows is that they take all the best-loved tunes and compact them in to an hour’s-worth of fast-moving action that leaves audiences with little time to get distracted. Distraction, however, was never an issue at any point during this production as the extremely talented ensemble gave a strong, confident, and well-rehearsed performance, with not one weak link identified.
Listening to audience feedback, the quality of the choreography and singing was way beyond that of a school setting. But each show has highlights and these have to include the performance of Oliver D, Year 11, as Miss Truchbull, and Felicity P-R, Year 9, as Matilda. Both embodied the spirit of Dahl’s intended characterisation, and both proved to be talented performers with comic timing and insight beyond their years. Using a simple stylised set integrated with a few ‘technical tricks’ only enhanced the professionalism of this production and it was easy to forget you were in a school hall operating on a minimal budget. Audiences are already asking ‘What’s Next?’… well, watch this space !
Photo Credit: Jay Armstrong.