Matilda the Musical

Regent On Broadway, Palmerston North

12/04/2024 - 27/04/2024

Production Details

Inspired by the book written by Roald Dahl,
book by Dennis Kelly and original music by Tim Minchin.
Director: Phil Anstis
Vocal Musical Director: Kirsten Clark
Band Musical Director: Barry Jones
Choreographer: Ruby Jamieson

Produced by Act Three Productions, Palmerston North

Inspired by the twisted genius of Roald Dahl, the Tony Award-winning Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical is the captivating masterpiece from the Royal Shakespeare Company that revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination and the inspiring story of a girl who dreams of a better life. With book by Dennis Kelly and original songs by Tim Minchin, Matilda has won 47 international awards and continues to thrill sold-out audiences of all ages around the world.

Matilda is a little girl with astonishing wit, intelligence and psychokinetic powers. She’s unloved by her cruel parents but impresses her schoolteacher Miss Honey. During her first term at school, the two forge a bond as Miss Honey begins to recognize and appreciate Matilda’s extraordinary personality. Matilda’s school life isn’t completely smooth sailing, however – the school’s mean headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, hates children and just loves to punish those who don’t abide by her rules. But Matilda has courage and cleverness in equal amounts, and could be the school pupils’ saving grace!

Packed with high-energy dance numbers, catchy songs and an unforgettable star turn for a young actress, Matilda is a joyous girl power romp. Children and adults alike will be thrilled and delighted by the story of the special little girl with an extraordinary imagination.

Opening at the Regent on Broadway in Palmerston North,
Friday 12 April – Saturday 27 April, 2024.
Most shows begin at 7.30pm, although there are several matinee performances throughout the season.
Please see for more information.
Tickets from Ticketek or via the Regent on Broadway box office, ranging in price from $25 – $85 (plus ticket fees).

Approximately 200 volunteers associated with Act Three Productions.
MISS HONEY – Danica Manson
MR WORMWOOD – Jacob McDonald
MRS WORMWOOD – Jessie Feyen
MRS PHELPS – Sophia Parker
ESCAPOLOGIST – Kieran Murphy
ACROBAT – Lily McDonald
DOCTOR – Clio Exconde
RUDOLPHO – Mikaera Bassett
MATILDA – Sylvie Musso, Lucy Bennett, Tanzi Good
BRUCE – Jacob Lauridsen, Manawa Te Wiki
LAVENDER – Emma Campbell, Charleigh Skelton-Morris
AMANDA – Kate Easton, Leyla Arnold
NIGEL – Jackson Kingston, Oscar Hansen-Wall
ERIC – Reuben Costley, Caleb Henderson
ALICE – Niamh Galpin, Mabel Henderson
HORTENSIA – Elizabeth Cavan, Isla Cabuay
TOMMY – Issac Clough, Oscar James

Tayla Clark, Matthew Lyne, Hannah McDowall, Hawi Pere, Terado Bassett, Ella Daynes, Mikaela Christensen

ADULT’S Backing Vocals
Emilia Johnston, Andrew Johnston, Poppy Costley, John Manville, William Lyne, Sheila Monaghan, Jessica King, Charlotte Grant

CHILDREN’S Backing Vocals
Jolsna Abraham, Emily Waugh, Emily Rule, Lydie Capper, Rosie Costley, Harmony Eugenio, Holly Huffer, Noelle Fauolo, Lucy Chan, Laiken Darling, Olive Look, Scarlett Lees-Galloway, Mia Warren, Annie Bearsley, Liam Prabakar

Musical , Theatre , Family ,

Approximately 2.5 hours

Matilda’s world brought to dynamic life by the whole team

Review by Alexandra Bellad-Ellis 13th Apr 2024

Matilda makes her entrance into the world at exactly the wrong time, disrupting her Mother’s plans to attend a dance competition. And to add to the disappointment she’s a girl, not the boy her Father wanted. Five years later, nothing has changed. Matilda exists in a family that goes out if its way to chastise her. Her cleverness is alien to them. Her parents can’t wait for her to go to school and be taught how to behave properly. 

Matilda finds solace in her books, and in the library she finds a friend in Mrs Phelps. Mrs Phelps encourages Matilda to tell her stories, and the tale of the acrobat and the escapologist weaves its way through the play, keeping Mrs Phelps on the edge of her seat as to what will happen next.

The big day dawns and Matilda arrives at the school gates with the other children to be introduced to the dark grey world of the school yard. Between the indomitable headmistress Miss Trunchbull (who went to the Olympics), the older children and the kind Miss Honey, life just got a lot more complicated for Matilda.

Now caught between her family (including her Mother’s dance partner) and Miss Trunchbull, Matilda must find a way through. As time goes on the story she tells Mrs Phelps looms large and the lines between fact and fiction being to blur. Will goodness and kindness triumph or will Miss Trunchbull win? There is truly something special about Matilda, but can she learn to weird it in time?

Matilda is performed skilfully by Sylvie Musso, showing great promise as a performer. Her family provide the perfect comic foil to her seriousness: Mrs Wormwood (Jessie Feyen) with her bleach blond hair, and enthusiastic dance partner Rudolpho (Mikaera Bassett); her father Mr Wormwood (Jacob McDonald) and his ridiculous get rich schemes with the Russian mafia; older brother Michael (Connor Watson), with his limited but spirited grasp of the English language. All three actors work as a perfect unit bringing a lovely comic element to the sometimes dark world of the show.

Librarian Mrs Phelps (Sophia Parker) does a beautiful job of guiding the second story line of Matilda’s fictional story into the play, making if feel like part of the whole rather than an extra.

Miss Honey (Danica Manson) has an absolutely amazing voice, standing out in a show full of great voices. Her sweetness and light brings hope to the dark world of the school, winning the audience over line by line.

There can be no doubt that the role of Miss Trunchbull, arguably the most recognizable in the play, is a difficult one to tackle. Part pantomime villain, part psychopath, Phil Anstis brings this character to life with a healthy dose of humour. His physicality is spot on, walking the fine line of being scary but not too scary for younger audience members. He is also the director of the play, juggling being on and off the stage. The direction is clever and allows each element of his production team to produce their best work.

This show shows the truth in the saying “there’s no such thing as a small part”. Everyone from the leads to the ensemble put their heart and soul into their characters, bringing the whole world to life and keeping the energy high all the way through to the last line. They create a spectacular piece of theatre they should all be proud of.

The set is designed by Harold Moot and is cleverly made. Towers of books move in and out of the space, framing different spaces and places; set elements fly in and out or are wheeled in from the wings. The digital screen (designed by Dave Spark) adds seamlessly to the show. Rhys Doherty has created a magical light scape. Cues are almost unbelievably tight with a cacophony of light and sound. All together the design elements bring the slightly strange world of Matilda to life.

Kirsten Clark has done a stellar job as the Vocal Musical Director. Ruby Jamieson’s choreography is slick and tight, utilizing the whole space to seamlessly get people and set off and on the stage. Every scene is interesting and dynamic, and the actors are a cohesive group throughout the show. A massive congratulations must go to the technical team for pulling it all off.

The role of Matilda is shared between three young actors who rotate alternative shows. There are also two sets of young cast teams, aptly named the maggots and the worms, who will also be on stage in alternating shows. The young cast members really shine in this production and hopefully we will see more of them in the future.

Matilda the Musical – inspired by the book written by Roald Dahl, book by Dennis Kelly and original music by Tim Minchin – is on till the 27th of April at The Regent theatre in Palmerston North (see production dates and booking details here). On Saturday the 20th of April at 2pm, there will be a special accessibility show for the deaf/hard of hearing and blind/low vision members of the community.


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