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Matilda The Musical release new video of cast singing ‘When I Grow up’ ahead of re-opening on 16 September 2021

Royal Shakespeare Company

Ahead of reopening their production of Matilda The Musical on Thursday 16 September at the Cambridge Theatre in London, the Royal Shakespeare Company announced a booking extension through to 29 May 2022 for individuals and through to 16 December 2022 for groups and schools. For further information visit www.matildathemusical.com.

A video of the full company singing ‘When I Grow Up’ in the rehearsal room together has been released today to celebrate the return of the musical to London’s West End.

https://youtu.be/3bou9kP_wJI

To celebrate Roald Dahl Story Day on 13 September, Landi Oshinowo who plays Mrs Phelps will read an extract from the original Roald Dahl story, Matilda, which will be available to watch from Monday on the Puffin Books YouTube Channel.  

Audiences will once again be treated to a free, live performance from some of the cast of Matilda The Musical as part of West End LIVE 2021, presented by Westminster City Council and the Society of London Theatre with support from the Mayor of London.  West End LIVE 2021 will take place in Trafalgar Square on 18- 19 September. 

Celebrating 10 years since the multi award-winning show opened in London, this iconic British musical has won 99 international awards including 24 for Best Musical and has been seen by more than 10 million people across more than 90 cities worldwide.

A tonic for audiences of all ages, this anarchic production about a strong and determined heroine with a vivid imagination has welcomed almost 4 million audience members in London. Adapted from the much-loved Roald Dahl book and commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, the musical premiered at the RSC’s Stratford-upon-Avon home in 2010, before transferring to the West End in October 2011, where it opened to rave reviews.

Matilda The Musical swept the board at the 2012 Olivier Awards, with a record-breaking seven awards, and won four Tony Awards and a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theater for the four girls sharing the title role on Broadway. It has since toured North America, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Ireland, South Africa and China and played its first non-English language production in Seoul, South Korea in 2018/19.  Matilda The Musical will also play the Netherlands for the first time, translated into Dutch for a run at the Oude Luxor Theater Rotterdam. Tickets are now on sale for Matilda De Musical in Rotterdam at matilda-demusical.nl

With the upcoming film adaptation from the same core creative team as the theatre production (direction by Matthew Warchus, adapted for the screen by Dennis Kelly, with the music and lyrics of Tim Minchin), Roald Dahl’s themes of bravery and standing up for what you believe in will continue to inspire young audiences all over the world. Produced by Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner of Working Title, Jon Finn, and Luke Kelly of The Roald Dahl Story Company. Sony Pictures U.K. and Tristar Pictures will release Matilda across the U.K. and Ireland exclusively in cinemas on 2nd December 2022 for Christmas. Netflix will release the film in the rest of the world in December 2022.

Written by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin and developed and directed by Matthew Warchus, the theatre production is designed by Rob Howell, with choreography by Peter Darling, orchestrations, additional music and musical supervision by Christopher Nightingale, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, sound by Simon Baker and the special effects and illusions are by Paul Kieve.

Matilda The Musical is the story of an extraordinary little girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny.

Matilda The Musical is produced by Executive Producers Denise Wood and Griselda Yorke for the Royal Shakespeare Company.  The production was developed with the support of Jeanie O’Hare and the RSC Literary Department.

André Ptaszynski had worked as one of the Executive Producers of the production from 2011 until his untimely death in 2020.  He is much missed by all of his colleagues.

Royal Shakespeare Company Playmaking festival launches new online platform

Playmaking Festival
The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) today announced the launch of the annual Playmaking Festival’s brand-new online platform. Over 1,500 young people from over 80 RSC Associate Schools have submitted 21 filmed performances, each inspired by one of Shakespeare’s plays. For the first time in the history of the festival, submissions have also included performances by adults from the RSC’s Shakespeare Nation Community programme, creating an intergenerational Playmaking Festival. These performances are now available on the newly launched online space: www.rsc.org.uk/playmaking The Playmaking Festival’s new online space has been developed in partnership with fishinabottle. Audiences can navigate the site by clicking on one of three zones, which will then take them through to an interactive map. Within each zone, audiences can access performance pieces created by different groups, according to their region.  The three zones have each been inspired by a line of Shakespearean text: “Something wicked this way comes”“More strange than true”“And now, let’s go hand in hand”Schools, theatre partners and Shakespeare Nation groups have all been provided with bespoke toolkits to support their performances. These include original music pieces composed by Tarek Merchant plus music and movement sessions with Tarek and Tanushka Marah. Schools have also had the opportunity to rehearse with Associate Learning Practitioner Director-Mentors: Marieke Audsley, Sam Colborne, Amy Draper, Oliver Lynes, Julia O’Keefe, Aaron Parsons, Luke Pearson, Abigail Sewell, Martha Toogood, Chris White, Leigh Wolmarans andRoberta Zuric. Jacqui O’Hanlon, RSC Director of Leaning and National Partnership said:  “This is an important time of reconnection for children, young people and adults across the country: reconnection with each other, with classmates, teachers and with local communities. The Playmaking Festival celebrates their creativity and resilience as we all come together to shape and make responses to Shakespeare’s work. Theatre and the arts play a vital role in our collective recovery; these aren’t ‘nice to have’ experiences. They are an essential part of growing up, of being alive, of feeling connected to other people, and of developing the agency we need to make positive changes in our lives. The festival invites makers and audiences of all ages to play and discover. We are so proud of the work and the achievements of the schools, communities and theatres we are privileged to work in partnership with.”  RSC ONLINE SUMMER SCHOOL 2021MONDAY 23 AUGUST – FRIDAY 27 AUGUSTAlso online this summer, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 74th Summer School is available for students to access from Monday 23 August – Friday 27 August. The week-long programme includes a series of online talks, sessions with actors, insights and provocations from theatre makers, academics, and reviewers, all to be enjoyed from the comfort of your home.  The week will explore RSC productions past, present and future, including gems from our archive, special insights into our summer season production of The Comedy of Errors and an exclusive peak into our 2022 programme.Each day will include two streamed sessions as well as a ‘Green Room’ discussion to round off the day where summer schoolers can connect and reflect together. In addition, the week will include access to two full length RSC productions that will streamed specifically for summer school participants.For more information on the RSC Online Summer School, visit: www.rsc.org.uk/education/teacher-professional-development/rsc-summer-school

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s ‘Matilda The Musical’ announces full casting for its return to the Cambridge Theatre this autumn

Matilda

Casting has been announced for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s West End production of Matilda The Musical which returns to the Cambridge Theatre from 16 September 2021. Celebrating 10 years since the multi award-winning show opened in London, this iconic British musical has won 99 international awards including 24 for Best Musical and has been seen by more than 10 million people across more than 90 cities worldwide. Matilda The Musical is now booking through to 13 February 2022. For further information visit www.matildathemusical.com.

Matilda The Musical is delighted to announce that the four performers in the title role of Matilda will be Imogen Cole, Alyssa D’Souza, Alex Munden and Zoe Simon, with their first performances from 16 September. 

The other young performers announced today who join the London company in the roles of Bruce, Lavender, Amanda and the rest of the pupils at Crunchem Hall are as follows: Hari Aggarwal, Thommy Bailey Vine, Kieron Bell, Tom Bonomini, Drew Edwards, Robyn Elwell, Rory Finnegan, Darcy Kelly, Ben Lee, Keanna-Skye O’Quinn, Nicholas Parris, Bella Perdoni, Chancé Quaye, Scarlett Jayne Rackham, Bren Reilly, Niamh Ritchie, Jacob Savva, Jayden Seder and Alex Stockton.

Kaspar Cahill-Ritter, Sienna Clarke, Rosie Gell-Marquez, Beth Gilmour, Louie Gray, and Gracie Hodson-Prior will continue in the roles of Bruce, Lavender, Amanda and the pupils at Crunchem Hall.

As previously announced, Carly Thoms will be taking over the role of Miss Honey, joining the adult cast which includes Elliot Harper as Miss Trunchbull, Sebastien Torkia as Mr Wormwood and Annette McLaughlin who will be returning to the company in the role of Mrs Wormwood, taking over from Marianne Benedict.

The full adult cast includes Liberty Buckland, Georgia Carling, Roger Dipper, Katrina Dix, Kate Kenrick, Ben Kerr, Matt Krzan, Connor Lewis, Tom Mather, Bryan Mottram, Kane Oliver Parry, Landi Oshinowo, Ryan Pidgen, James Revell, Gemma Scholes and Dawn Williams.

Tim Minchin said: “I’m SO excited that the West End will be reopening soon, and that Matilda will be back on stage in time for its 10th birthday. And that I’ll be able to be in my favourite city for the first time in two years! I’ve so keenly missed Matilda, my London family, and live theatre in general.”

A new trailer, which can be seen here, gives audiences the opportunity to see a range of special highlights from the show.

A tonic for audiences of all ages, this anarchic production about a strong and determined heroine with a vivid imagination has welcomed almost 4 million audience members in London. Matilda The Musical is the 6th longest-running show in the West End and the 16th longest-running musical in West End history. Matilda The Musical will also visit the Netherlands for the first time, translated into Dutch for a run at the Oude Luxor Theater Rotterdam. The theatre hopes that the musical will bring visitors to the city as it emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic. It has also announced plans to work with partners in Rotterdam to develop an education programme around the show. Tickets are now on sale for Matilda De Musical in Rotterdam visit matilda-demusical.nl

Adapted from Roald Dahl’s much loved 1988 book and commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, the musical premiered at the RSC’s Stratford-upon-Avon home in 2010, before transferring to the West End in October 2011, where it opened to rave reviews.

Matilda The Musical swept the board at the 2012 Olivier Awards, with a record-breaking seven awards, and won four Tony Awards and a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theater for the four girls sharing the title role on Broadway. It has since toured North America, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Ireland, South Africa and China and played its first non-English language production in Seoul, South Korea in 2018/19.

With the upcoming film adaptation from the same core creative team as the theatre production (direction by Matthew Warchus, adapted for the screen by Dennis Kelly, with the music and lyrics of Tim Minchin), Dahl’s themes of bravery and standing up for what you believe in will continue to inspire young audiences all over the world. Produced by Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner of Working Title, Jon Finn, and Luke Kelly of The Roald Dahl Story Company. Sony Pictures U.K. and Tristar Pictures will release Matilda across the U.K. and Ireland exclusively in cinemas on 2nd December 2022 for Christmas. Netflix will release the film in the rest of the world in December 2022.

Written by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin and developed and directed by Matthew Warchus, the theatre production is designed by Rob Howell, with choreography by Peter Darling, orchestrations, additional music and musical supervision by Christopher Nightingale, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, sound by Simon Baker and the special effects and illusions are by Paul Kieve.

Matilda The Musical is the story of an extraordinary little girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny.

Matilda The Musical is produced by Executive Producers Denise Wood and Griselda Yorke for the Royal Shakespeare Company.  The production was developed with the support of Jeanie O’Hare and the RSC Literary Department.

André Ptaszynski had worked as one of the Executive Producers of the production from 2011 until his untimely death in 2020.  He is much missed by all of his colleagues.

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The Royal Shakespeare Company’s, Erica Whyman: ‘Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were talking about the ideas that our distinguished and emerging women have?’

I am sat in Gregory Doran’s office at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s HQ on International Women’s Day and have just presented Erica Whyman OBE with a single sunflower to mark the occassion.

“You are the second man to wish me a Happy International Women’s Day,” Whyman grins then resets. “Actually, that feels new to me. There are new desires to make lasting progress but in the raw and complex aftermath of the Me Too movement, it is not as easy as it sounds,” she says.

Erica Whyman headshot_2018_Photo by Ellie Kurttz _c_ RSC_209883

Erica Whyman OBE

Erica is deputy artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company; she has been at Stratford five years now and has achieved some remarkable things. Whyman too has long spoken out about inequality, particularly in theatre. With a new generation and real conversations taking place. How, I ask, does she feel about International Women’s Day today? “I had some discomforts with it,” she recalls. “But in the last decade I think moments to illuminate what our thinking is about gender are not bad things.”

She is a working mum in a high-pressure leadership role. What advice does she have for others wondering how to juggle this responsibility? “I’d say don’t feel oppressed if you don’t want to have children and don’t feel oppressed if you do. If it means that you can’t work in a way that some of your peers work – that’s ok. Let’s change the culture together,” says Whyman. 

Who, I ask, were her inspirations growing up? “I have retrospective ones like Joan Littlewood or Katie Mitchell. People who carved space for me to exist,” she explains. Yet, with hindsight, it was Whyman’s mother and her “rogue views” that helped her find her place in the world. “Because what she did was argue with me,” she declares. “She argued with me for thirty years and that taught me how to argue. It made me think very hard about a whole variety of issues. She was quite out there; she didn’t think there should be female doctors, for example. But she was incredibly powerful and passionate as a person. She was herself. So, the combination of spending a lot of my childhood being embarrassed and confused by my mother was an indirect but vital source of inspiration. In a geeky way it was books, I did get excited by Virginia Woolf,” says Whyman.

The critically acclaimed production of the RSC production of Hamlet starring Paapa Essiedu has been on a UK tour and just opened at Hackney Empire. Whyman is thrilled with the response. “Paapa is an amazing Hamlet and he is surrounded by a genuinely extraordinary cast,” she says. “There is a kind of physical explosive energy to both the production and Paapa’s performance. It’s a fantastic way to see the play in a whole new light.” 

Hamlet-RSC-RST-659.jpg

Paapa Essiedu as Hamlet.

We are talking the week of the Olivier Award nominations and the RSC have been overlooked – for the second year running. Does it bruise? “Yes, it does bruise us…” she says cautiously. “I spent eight years in Newcastle Upon Tyne, before that I worked in Notting Hill and in Southwark – before Southwark was sexy. I have spent my life in places that the centre of the establishment likes to think are peripheral: European theatre, theatre made in the North, theatre made by women etc. So, I am probably a little more sanguine; I expect the RSC to be overlooked. Will we survive it? I should say so.”

The RSC have chosen female directors for all plays in the summer 2018 season. Whyman says that this was not a deliberate move. What would a more equal future for women look like? “Polly Findlay, who I’m working closely with at the moment on Macbeth, puts it better than I can. She says: ‘I’d really like to be talking about our ideas.’ Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were talking about the ideas that our distinguished and emerging women have?”

Erica is in the middle of rehearsals for the upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet. “I couldn’t be more excited by it,” she says quickly. “It’s a much better play than I thought it was, it keeps revealing itself to me to be truly great. It portrays Romeo and Juliet as widely equal in a world that doesn’t expect that. Both the depths of emotion he is capable of and the types of courage that she is capable of are surprising. My cast is properly diverse and I am thrilled by that because it doesn’t feel like boxes on a piece of paper. When Beth Cordingly, playing Escalus, walks on stage and says “What, ho! You men, you beasts,’ to stop the fighting it rings with contemporary resonance and a sense of male violence.”

Audience development is key to the future. What does she think of the current conversations around arts coverage? “We need to get critics out of London,” she says. “Perhaps we are in a transition from what we think our established audience is: as a newspaper, as a theatre or indeed politics,” she says. “We have this idea of an audience who are middle aged and I think we’re wrong about them, because I’m middle aged and they are wrong about me,” says Whyman.

Shakespeare is one of the only compulsory cultural figures left on the curriculum. Whyman acknowledges the challenges that this presents her peers. She is definitely alarmed at the current state of affairs. In my lifetime of two or three different forms of Conservative…” She quickly corrects herself to say that that is not the right word. “Wealth creation governments, that have had an absolute logic to them: create the wealth and enable it to be distributed. Well, they have failed.” 

“I recognise the realities of life, I watch the news. It feels like we are in a crisis.” She takes a little pause. “It’s about being able to say who we are effectively and working in a way together, that is greater than the sum of its parts.” 

We have been talking for almost an hour and our time together is nearly up. Is there anything that she’d like to add? “It is easy to be bleak about the state of the world and I am bleak about the state of the world,” she continues, more resilient than sad. “But my greatest privilege is that I see how lively and intelligent and rich that a generation of theatre-makers instincts are about audiences and not just about art. It is also an exciting time because I think people’s blood is up.”

She is smiling as she says that and I believe every word.  

 

Hamlet runs at Hackney Empire until 31 March 2018 

Macbeth runs at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre from 20 March to September 2018

Romeo and Juliet runs at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre from 21 April 2018 and will be broadcast live to cinemas on the 18th July 2018, with a UK tour planned in 2019.