Review: Matilda Jr brings the magic of musical theater back to the Settle College stage

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AFTER a Covid-induced hiatus, the talented students of Settle College once again lit up the school stage in an energetic burst of musical theatre.

The company, made up of students in grades 7 through 6, delighted audiences with three performances of Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical Jr..

Poppy Tetley shone in the title role of Matilda Wormwood, a young girl who, despite her parents’ neglect, manages to thrive under the guidance of her support teacher Miss Honey, played by Violet Hollings Kelly.

The two gifted actors of year 7 were perfectly cast; they acted confidently beyond their years and delivered beautiful vocals in their solos.

While her green-haired father, Mr. Wormwood (Natasha Hewitt), was preoccupied with his dodgy car contracts, and her dismissive mother, Mrs. Wormwood (Holly Brown), was only interested in her hip-hop dance partner. from serpent, Rudolpho (Robyn Harrison), Matilda has used her vivid imagination to tell compelling stories from The Escapologist (Gemma Tyrie) and The Acrobat (Isobel Tolson) to enthusiastic librarian Mrs Phelps (Isla Paton).

Things were looking up for Matilda as she started school at Crunchem Hall and met her new best friend Lavender (Niamh Taylor). However, it soon became clear that his hammer throwing manager, Miss Agatha Trunchbull (Isaac Wiggins), ruled with an iron fist, keeping the maggots in line with the threat of a trip to Chokey. Isaac owned the part, and his portrayal was both terrifying and comedic in equal measure. From aggressive threats and whistles to graceful ribbon swirls, he played the terrifying Olympic champion, became a child-hating school principal and made audiences laugh.

Another notable performance was that of Aaron Hird as Bruce Bogtrotter, who also faced the wrath of Miss Trunchbull. But he and Amanda Thrip (Lottie Oliver) – whose pigtails led her to experience the director’s hammer throwing skills first hand – along with the rest of the Revolting Children cast: Aimee Allen, Felicity Beckett, Elsa Burke , Heidi Busfield, Tabitha Brown, Kora Higginson, Emily Scott and Minnie Trotter, emerged triumphant when Matilda used the power of her mind to defeat Truchbull once and for all.

The solid ensemble that multi-rolled a number of different characters was particularly skilled in big musical numbers such as School Song and Miracle; their harmonies were excellent and the choreography was fast and impeccably timed.

Offstage, Tegan Bishop is to be commended for her outstanding work as a sound technician. While the stage crew of Sophie Cooper, Hazel Gowland and Anna Murray should also be applauded for their hard work behind the scenes creating the set, with additional help from Raven Coward and Willow Coward who also provided valuable contributions within the costume team. .

It was the first time that drama teacher Paula Griffiths and Helen Robertson, music teacher and director of the faculty of creative arts, had teamed up to produce a musical at Settle College.

But both agreed that the students had worked incredibly hard to put on a show of such a high standard, especially since for some students it was their first experience of a school musical, and that even those who had played before hadn’t done so for a long time. long time.

Matilda Jr has set the bar high for the level of school performances returning to the stage at Settle College, and staff and students can’t wait to get the next one started.

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