ATTENTION, maggots! Join the revolt in Roald Dahl’s Matilda Jr The Musical when Ryedale Youth Theatre take over the Milton Rooms, Malton, from April 12 to 16.
Full of rousing songs, witty lyrics and fun ensemble roles, this Broadway Junior adaptation of the Tony-winning musical is ready to bring the smell of rebellion to Malton with director/choreographer Chloe Shipley and musical director Rachael Clarke in charge.
In Dahl’s story, Matilda is born with astonishing wit, intelligence, a vivid imagination and special powers! Unloved by her parents, unfortunately her less-than-brilliant family fails to value the qualities that make Matilda so special.
Sent to the abysmal Crunchem Hall Primary School, she impresses loveable, kind teacher Miss Honey, but monstrous, mean headmistress Miss Trunchbull hates children and just loves thinking up new punishments for those who flout her rules.
Buoyed by the help of her friends and Miss Honey, Matilda has the courage and cleverness to start a revolution. Could she be the pupils’ saving grace, the one to prove that everyone has the power to change their own story?
“Matilda Jr The Musical is a tribute to those who think outside of the box and feel misunderstood,” says Chloe. “The show will teach actors and audience alike that you ‘mustn’t let a little thing like ‘little’ stop you and that sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty’.”
Matilda Jr will be Ryedale Youth Theatre’s 30th annual show, a milestone that should have been marked by their production of Oliver!, until Covid-19 forced its cancellation.
Scripted by Dennis Kelly with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, Matilda Jr is packed with multiple featured roles. “Blessed with so many talented and enthusiastic young people within the company, we decided to double cast the show to give everyone who auditioned the opportunity to perform in the principal roles,” says publicist Barbara Wood.
Consequently, two extra performances have been added to allow both teams four performances each of a show that runs to just over one hour with no interval.
Chloe and Rachael have been joined once again in the production team by former Ryedale Youth Theatre leading light, professional West End actress and singer Lauren Hood as assistant director/choreographer.
Lauren, who is living in Spain at present, flew over for the February half-term rehearsals, held at Malton School.
Yesterday was the get-in day for tech preparations for next Tuesday’s opening at the refurbished Milton Rooms. “The refurbishment work and upgrade to the sound and lighting systems is complete and the decorators are due to finish in time for our production,” says Barbara.
Tickets for the 7pm evening shows and 3pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday matinees cost £12, concessions £10, at yourboxoffice.co.uk.