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Matilda the Musical Jr.

by on 17 December 2021

Feats of Acting

Matilda the Musical Jr.

by Denis Kelly, based on the story by Roald Dahl, music and lyrics by Tim Minchin

Dramacube, Twickenham Purple Cast at Hampton Hill Theatre until 18th December

Review by Evie Schaapveld

Evie Schaapveld is one of our younger reviewers.  Eleven years old, she acts with a number of local stage companies.

In the Purple Cast of Matilda I saw many feats of acting and great stage direction.  Some of the most notable things were the astonishing choreography and how all the children performed so energetically, and so well keeping their moves in time.  

Notably, the background was incredible, elaborate yet so simple, changing from the library bookshelf setting to a blackboard and then to a field.  But one of the most impressive things in my opinion was the feat of how they told the story of the Escapologist and the Acrobat, with one of the scenes being told by animation in the background.  It was a very creative way of presenting it, as that scene would have been very difficult to do by acting it out.

The Purple Cast is drawn from Dramacube’s Youth Theatre of 14 to 18 year olds.  Their acting was spot on, although there were a few times when first-night nerves caused a few stuttered lines or forgotten cues, but that would never take away from the entire picture of superb acting.  Admittedly there were some performers who completely blew me away from what I was expecting. There were many of them, but one example was Michael Wells as Rudolpho, who stayed in character the whole time and made me laugh.  The actor for Miss Trunchbull (Chester Barnes) was also amazing and really did surprise me.  In the role of Matilda, Madelaine Oxford was definitely a great choice for the lead and joined with Miss Honey (Vivie Sleight) they made an incredible duo of student and teacher.  There were many other marvellous players such as the actor for Bruce (Charlotte Taylor) and the actors for the Escapologist (Sejal Khadakkar) and the Acrobat (Abigail Eggleton) but in truth all of them were remarkable.

It was very good for something as entertaining as this production to happen during Covid, with all the precautions and restrictions that must be put into place.   If truth be told, I enjoyed every aspect of this show, no scene was weaker than any other.  I really hope I can see all these actors again in another performance and that they all do really well.

Evie Schaapveld, December 2021

Photography by Bomi Cooper

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