Matilda The Musical

Baycourt - Addison Theatre, Tauranga

21/09/2023 - 07/10/2023

Production Details

Music & Lyrics: TIM MINCHIN
Director: Russell Dixon
Musical Director: Matt Bodman
Choreographer: Paige Henderson
Production Manager: Hannah Lee
Licensed exclusively by Music Theatre International (Australasia).

Tauranga Musical Theatre


After five days of auditions, including around 70 children, Tauranga Musical Theatre has announced the cast for its 2023 season of Roald Dahl’s Matilda – The Musical.

Three young Tauranga actors, Iisha Harris, Makenzi Young and Belle Goodwin, aged 10, 11 and 11 respectively, have landed the role of a lifetime in the extraordinary young girl with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind who dares to take a stand and change her own destiny.

Alongside the adult actors, which includes Matilda’s outrageous parents, Mr and Mrs Wormwood, who will be played by Fraser Graham and Carlie Crone, and the terrifying Agatha Trunchbull, played by Mark Vevers, there are two separate casts of children actors playing Matilda’s classmates, bringing the total number of children cast to 19.

Director Russell Dixon (Mary Poppins (Auckland – Civic Theatre), Wicked (Tauranga Musical Theatre), Mamma Mia (Tauranga, Auckland, Oamaru) says, “It has been a challenging but joyful process auditioning over 115 candidates for this epic production. The confidence and ability of so many young children, as well as the depth of experience and talent presented by the adult auditonees, has made the casting process exciting, yet in many ways very difficult. I know the creative team is extremely happy with our cast of 38 and we can’t wait to bring our team together and begin the rehearsal process in May.”

Dixon leads the creative team which also includes Musical Director Matt Bodman (We Will Rock You, Miss Saigon), Choreographer Paige Henderson (Les Miserables, 13), and Production Manager Hannah Lee (That Bloody Woman, We Will Rock You (performer)).

The multi-award winning musical, inspired by the beloved Roald Dahl novel and with a book by Dennis Kelly and original songs by Tim Minchin, has won over 100 international awards, including 24 for Best Musical. It has toured the globe since its pilot season in 2011.

The narrative centres on Matilda Wormwood, a precocious young girl with the gift of telekinesis, who loves reading, overcomes obstacles caused by her hilariously horrible family, and helps her teacher reclaim her life. It is often most recognised for the brilliant songs including Revolting Children, Naughty and When I Grow Up.

Tauranga Musical Theatre’s season runs from 21 September to 7 October at Baycourt Community and Arts Centre. Tickets are on sale now through Ticketek. The three Matildas and two child casts will be rotated across the three-week season.


“You’d be a nitwit to miss this hit show.” – The Guardian

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Tauranga Musical Theatre season of Roald Dahl’s Matilda – The Musical

21 September to 7 October 2023
Baycourt Community and Arts Centre, Tauranga
Tickets here

Matilda was first commissioned and produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company and premiered at The Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, England on 9 November 2010. It transferred to the Cambridge Theatre in the West End of London on 25 October 2011 and received its US premiere at the Shubert Theatre, Broadway, USA on 4 March 2013.
Matilda #1 Iisha Harris
Matilda #2 Mackenzi Young
Matilda #3 Belle Goodwin
Agatha Trunchbull Mark Vevers
Miss Honey Emily Bodman
Mrs Phelps Sarah Bate
Mr Wormwood Fraser Graham
Mrs Wormwood Carlie Crone
Michael Wormwood James Ferns

Alice Polly Rickard
Amanda Gemma Lane
Bruce Rhys Hopcroft
Eric Jack Culver
Hortensia Lilly Isaac
Lavender Scarlett Waterhouse
Nigel Elliot Watts
Tommy Mitchell Preston

Alice Hannah Rendle
Amanda Holly Scott
Bruce Aardit Tandon
Eric Riley Tasker
Hortensia Milla Cudby
Lavender Jamie Rivers
Nigel Alec B
Tommy Kaze Borman

Doctor, Mechanic #1, Sergei Rick Hopcroft
Rudolpho Matthew Karton
Child Entertainer, Dr #2 Elise Rohde
Dad #1, Escapologist, BR Dancer, Student, Henchman #1 Hugo Corin
Dad #2, Student, BR Judge, Henchman #2 Peter Colona
Dad #3, Student, BR Dancer, Henchman #3 Jacob West
Dad #4, Student, Henchman #4 Jack Kilfoyle
Mum/Dad #5, Acrobat, Student Amy Van Leeuwen
Mum #2, Student, Cook, BR Judge Millie Rowe
Mum #3, Student, BR Dancer, Henchman #5 Remma McArdle
Mum #4, Student, BR Dancer Claire Poulgrain
Mum/Dad #5, Nurse #1, Student, BR Judge Abbie Buskirk
Mum #1, Nurse #2, Student, BR Judge Morgan Kitching
Offstage Swing Kelsey Andrew

Tracey Carter, Sarah Bates, Amy Lewin, Bobby Howard, Shyanne Erueti, Jono Allen, Kate Boyle, Matahiapi Waimarie Maxwell, Mackenzie Wilson, Hope Allen, Gregory James

Musical , Theatre ,

2 hours

An absolute cracker with no weak performances

Review by Vivienne Quinn 24th Sep 2023

It’s a Saturday night, three nights into Tauranga Musical Theatre’s 2023 offering of Matilda the Musical, and the place is packed. It’s a great buzz – last year’s TMT production of We Will Rock You was outstanding; will this year’s show live up to the hype? 

It starts off well.

Beautiful lighting effects (Matt Henderson) raise the curtain to the opening number, ‘Miracle’, sung with absolute clarity and skill by tonight’s youthful cast (the escapologists). The props are gorgeous and bright (Bianca Pearce), the choreography is smooth and fun (Paige Henderson), and the show is set up to be just as brilliant as previous TMT delights. Huge sigh of relief – it’s a great show!

There are no weak performances, and from this cast of hugely talented locals, a few shine just that much more.

Matilda, tonight performed by Makenzi Young, has a commanding presence and a beautiful voice and manages a wordy part with confidence. Emily Bodman’s Miss Honeyhas a gorgeous voice well suited to this part as she elicits empathy from the audience (though her English accent does slip a bit) and Fraser Graham is a show-stealer with his fabulously un-likeable Mr Wormwood.

Other cast highlights include Aadit Tandon’s impressive Bruce, Scarlett Waterhouse’s confident Lavenderand some wonderfully entertaining up-staging by Matthew Karton as Rudolpho.

But the absolute highlight is the powerhouse performance put in by Mark Vevers as the aggressive, outrageous and surprisingly aero-dynamic Agatha Trunchbull. This show is worth going to just to see him.

The only negatives to this performance are some interference in the sound system, with a distracting hum happening a few times during the show, and the occasional sounds from backstage as the mics from the off-stage back-up singers (who do a fantastic job!) pick up some green-room chatter. If the tech issues can be sorted out then this show is an absolute cracker and makes a very very enjoyable evening.


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