RGS scores the musical Matilda!
The Rockhampton Grammar School is bringing the world-renowned musical Matilda to Central Queensland audiences.
Roald Dahl’s much-loved story about a gifted girl with a horrible family has been enjoyed by the world since 1988. However, it wasn’t until Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin paired up to adapt the book into a musical did it become the phenomenon it is now.
"It is amazing to offer something new and exciting to Rockhampton audiences because in the past to see a show of this calibre, patrons had to travel to the big cities to watch the professional production’ musical director Mrs Jan Kennedy said.
"I'm still really surprised that we were successful. We were incredibly lucky to secure the rights and we will be the first school to present Matilda in this region."
Matilda will be performed at Rockhampton's Pilbeam Theatre on 9, 10 and 11 August, with two shows hitting the stage the Saturday.
Mrs Kennedy, who has directed over 20 musicals at RGS, is extremely excited about bringing Matilda to the Pilbeam Theatre stage.
"I'm excited to bring it to the stage because it's such a well-known and popular show,’’ said Mrs Kennedy, who is now eagerly awaiting the arrival of the musical material to look over the finer details of the script.
Mrs Kennedy saw the professional stage production of Matilda in London, which has given some insight into the storyline, set and costumes. However, Mrs Kennedy said that restrictions outlined in the contract to secure the rights means that our show will have a new and exciting look!
Mrs Kennedy is also excited for the students who have an opportunity to perform in Matilda.
"There's a huge opportunity for one lucky girl to play the title role of Matilda, and this will be supported by other iconic characters, such as Trunchbull, Honey and Mr and Mrs Wormwood,’’ Mrs Kennedy said.
“I'm excited to see if the students can capture the style that Matilda is famous for.”
Mrs Kennedy said she was hoping to have an audition workshop designed to introduce the students to the particular style of choreography and energy required in this famous production.
Rehearsals should be in full swing later this term.
With the musical locked in Mrs Kennedy is now planning choreography, stage directions, set and costume designs. The RGS musicians will also start rehearsal soon and will once again perform live over the four shows.
“First and foremost, I love to work with the students,’’ Mrs Kennedy said.
“I really enjoy teaching them different performance styles and nurturing their acting and theatre skills. To teach them about the art of becoming a character, how to understand stage directions, the workings of a set and how costumes can enhance a role are essential skills and elements that they come to know and understand through the process of the rehearsal period.
“The aim is that they learn vital theatre skills at the same time as enjoying themselves.”
Many of Mrs Kennedy's past musical stars are continuing to thrive on the stage with Andrew Conaghan (RGS 2011) still performing Les Misérables on London's West End and is featuring in performances with the Ten Tenors, Jaime Hadwen (RGS 2009) is preparing to hit the stage in Muriel's Wedding, Alex Russell (RGS 2004) is based in the US and starring in the TV series S.W.A.T , Hugo Pilcher (RGS 2016) is furthering his acting career in London, while Alice Girle (RGS 2002) and Sam Johnson (RGS 2005) have both studied opera in London. Other students have continued the theatre journey in many areas.
“I simply love walking into a theatre, the feeling you get, even when it's empty, the smell, the fly lines and the lighting bars. To know that what you create brings magic to the stage and the audience is unbelievable,’’ Mrs Kennedy said.
Mrs Kennedy is now waiting to see how many students are keen to audition in the hope of bringing that magic to the Pilbeam Theatre stage.
“A cast of wildly talented kids, witty lyrics by Tim Minchin and a touching story written by Roald Dahl, everyone’s favourite children’s author, I can’t think of a reason why you wouldn’t love Matilda The Musical,’’ said Mrs Kennedy.
“It’s a heart-warming show packed full of wonder, magic, rebellion and fun that’ll keep every member of the family entertained and in the words of Matilda, ‘sometimes you have to be a little big naughty.”