Matilda Jr. The Musical

Date 26th March 2022
Society Herstmonceux Amateur Theatrical Society
Venue Herstmonceux Village Hall
Type of Production Musical
Director Joanna Stevens
Musical Director Linda Thompson
Choreographer Joanna Stevens

Report

Author: Brenda Gower

Herstmonceux Amateur Theatrical  Society are indeed very lucky to have Young HATS as their Junior Society.  So much talent there which has obviously been nurtured well by those in charge.

Matilda was an ideal show for them to perform with plenty of activity for all.  So many in the cast had a named part but there just wouldn’t be room to mention them all.  However, it was a show I will remember for a very long time, all for the best of reasons.

Matilda was played by Sophie Jacquet in great style.  She had a hard life at home with her abusive parents who doted on her brother but certainly not on her.  She did, however, manage to get her own back on occasions, hence the song, “Sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty!”  In the end, her bravery and her eventually discovered remarkable powers won through.  Her parents, Mr & Mrs Wormwood (Oliver Jaquet and Jaymie-Leigh Jenkins) were characters you immediately loved to hate!  Both carried out their roles in excellent fashion – fancy being horrified to find your child reading a book!

If life for Matilda was hard for her at home, going to school was not much different as the Headmistress was the tyrannical and cruel Miss Trunchbull played by Henry Stevens.  Henry looked every inch the part and delighted in calling the children maggots and putting them into “The Chokey” if any misdemeanours – real or imaginary were committed.  A really great performance.   At School, Miss Honey was the complete opposite of Miss Trunchbull and Zoe Brewer gave a lovely performance of this kindly teacher who helped Matilda greatly.

Matilda loved making up stories which she told to Miss Honey.  The stories were brought to life very well indeed by Finley Vos as the Escapologist and Flo Frizzel  as the Acrobat.

Every inch of the stage was used to the best possible advantage.  Joanna Stevens not only directed the show but arranged the choreography as well.  So many small bodies in a relatively small space but with the easily moved scenery, it all worked so well.

Linda Thompson looked after the musical direction – recorded music which came over well with these well trained voices.  The music itself was indeed very difficult, timing wise and the speed it had to be put over.  No problem for Hats Junior!

Many thanks and congratulations to all involved in the show, whether on or off stage – stage management, costumes, scenery, set construction, Direction, Musical Direction et al.