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Matilda the Musical Jr.

by on 21 December 2021

Heart-Warming Joy

Matilda the Musical Jr.

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

Dramacube, Hampton Hill Yellow Cast at Hampton Hill Theatre until 20th December

Review by Millie Stephens

Millie Stephens is one of our younger reviewers, this review being written the day after

her sixteen birthday.  Millie trained with the Rose Theatre, Kingston.

Dramacube’s production of Matilda the Musical Jr, was impressive and lived up to their high standard, particularly with the young age of the casts this year, as young as seven years old.  I reviewed Sunday afternoon’s Hampton Hill Yellow Cast. 

I thought that the set and costumes by Hannah Calarco and the production team were amazing.  The opening set with a backdrop of book cases and flying books was wonderfully designed, with ABC blocks to give stage props to stand and sit on.  I especially thought Miss Trunchball’s costume and makeup was convincing and comedic, adding an extra layer of professionalism to the production. 

Throughout, the cast gave strong performances from the humour in the Wormwood family to the gentleness of Miss Honey (Laila Hart).   Even when there was a problem with one of the Wormwood appearances, the young cast stayed calm and improvised.  Rosie Samuel’s Miss Trunchball was exceptionally convincing, staying in character as the severe disciplinarian.  Ayush Jethwa’s, Rudolfo, needs a special mention for his comic dance moves with partner for Mrs Wormwood (Isabel Baker), which made the audience laugh. 

The lead role, Matilda, played by Elsie Ellis was simply outstanding.  She has a great voice which lifted the musical numbers off the page leaving the audience mesmerised.  She worked well with all her scene partners, giving it an effortless flow.  Everyone in the cast supported each other, working in harmony as both an ensemble and individuals, which is a key skill to have especially at such a young age.  I also thought Liberty Best, who played the adorable and innocent Amanda, melted the audience’s hearts with her pigtails. 

The choreography by Abbey Mordue and James Markham had clearly put together dances which the ensemble enjoyed and that was infectious to the audience who clapped along at the end.  The well-known soundtrack of Matilda was brought to life by the cast, who were enthusiastic and tuneful.  One of my favourite energetic Company songs was School Song,  as it was bursting with energy.  I loved how they managed to create a contrast between the shy and nervous new pupils and the older, bullying children.  Another song that I loved was Quiet sung by Elsie Ellis who played Matilda.  It’s a very moving song and she conveyed the emotions brilliantly.

In conclusion, Matilda the Musical Jr was a great show that I would recommend seeing for all ages.  It will bring you a sense of fun, youth and heart-warming joy.  It was impressively put together by Dramacube, directed by Matthew Bunn, especially in Covid times.  Well done to the whole team and cast, you all did a fantastic job!

Millie Stephens, December 2021

Photography by Bomi Cooper

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