From its important themes to its talented young cast, Matilda The Musical is a must for any teachers considering a theatre trip.
Based on the beloved children’s book by Roald Dahl, this musical is enjoyable for all ages. Featuring colourful scenery, skilled chorography and beautifully executed songs, school groups watching are in for a real treat.
However, despite its fun plot, the show has a lot to teach children. There are some realistic and rather dark themes, such as child abuse, neglect and bullying, but along with the characters, you’ll leave the theatre feeling as though you can stand up and conquer whatever you put your mind to; an important message for children.
STO reviews Matilda…
STO had the pleasure of going to see the show at Milton Keynes Theatre, which is a greatly accessible venues for school groups. From its wonderful and talented cast, to its brilliant songs, which are all written and composed by the fantastic Tim Minchin, Matilda The Musical is a show that all children should get the opportunity to see. The young cast are something to aspire to, and the dance numbers, songs and hilarious characters will inspire all ages.
How else can schools benefit?
Matilda The Musical, owned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, has plenty for schools.
Its very own education programme involves a variety of workshops, such as the Mrs Phelps Workshop, which is centred around the character and can be linked to Literacy. Other performance linked workshops include: Technical Theatre, Directing, Script Writing, and Theatre Careers.
The musical also provides school resources online such as character sheets which students can use to explore the characterisation, developments and themes and can help students learn how to create their own characters. There are also resources looking at plot building, music and lyric creation, dialogue and rewriting.
Pictured: Craige Els as Miss Trunchbull (Photo credit: Manuel Harlan).
How are schools already getting involved?
To coincide with the run of the RSC’s production of Matilda The Musical at Milton Keynes Theatre, artists in residence from the RSC, in collaboration with the theatre’s Creative Learning team, have given six local schools the opportunity to take part in a new education programme, Change My Story: Matilda Champion Schools.
The two successful Primary, one Middle and three Secondary Champion Schools will take part in a two-year programme of creative work. There will be professional development and training for teachers and, at the end of year one, the schools get the fun of staging a 45-minute edit of Matilda The Musical as their school play.
Up to 30 students in each school can perform in the piece and, in year two of the Change My Story programme, all the skills that have been learnt and the knowledge acquired will be shared with other year groups and children in five local partner schools.
Rachael Hutchinson, creative learning manager at Milton Keynes Theatre, said: “This has been an incredible opportunity for teachers to learn from the RSC and for students to take part in this special edit of Matilda, only available to our Champion Schools, we can’t wait to get started!”
Matilda The Musical is currently touring the UK and can also be seen in the West End. Teachers should contact their chosen venues for details of school bookings and educational programmes.