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28/06/2022 Reviews of our production of Matilda The Musical JR

The reviews are in!

It’s time for the reviews! Back in the summer of 2021, Zelda secured the licence from Music Theatre International, Europe, to perform 7 shows of Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical JR. Little did we know what a journey this would take us on, culminating in a very successful run of shows, 1st – 4th June 2022. We are delighted to have received so many wonderful reviews. Take a look…

Reviews from our lovely audiences

I came to see Matilda last weekend – and I wanted to let you know how brilliant I thought it was! Miss Trunchbull stole the show for me – I loved her accent so much, and her mannerisms, can’t say enough good words… well done Finn 🙂 I laughed so much. That said, everyone else was brilliant too – the clever staging too – I loved every bit of it – thank you all so much 🙂 top notch show – please keep making more fabulous shows! 🙂 – Kathryn Wright

Thank you so much on behalf of our family for the wonderful opportunity you gave Harriet as Lavender. It really was a dream come true for her to star in Matilda on stage! And what a production it was! We were delighted that so many family, friends and teachers came along to watch the show: everyone unanimously agreed that it was a fantastic production, worthy of a professional company. We have made so many special memories this half term, thank you and congratulations to you all.
Best wishes
Alex Brightwell

Just to say, I really enjoyed Matilda! The youngsters did an amazing job on a comparatively small stage for such a production. Yes, we spotted Lois who was excellent in her parts! I have seen it in London so knew the story but never read the book— Rita says she might do that now! Jean x

That was AMAZING!!! We were actually cackling away in the audience – so funny and brilliant performances from all involved. We got very excited every time we saw you though!

Hello Zelda
I just wanted to take the time to email and congratulate you on a fantastic production of Matilda on Thursday afternoon! …I was really blown away by the talent on stage and the level of dedication and commitment that went into creating the entire production. I do hope that the rest of the run goes well for you all!
Best wishes 
Zaira Palumbo BMus (Hons) LTCL MISM

Many thanks for the invitations to NODA President Gordon Richardson to see your show on his little tour of East District 5. What excellent productions, much enjoyed and what a week!  Many thanks and reports will be following, all so good and you obviously enjoyed being back in performance. Regards Sue

For those of you who haven’t seen Matilda yet – you’re in for a treat! Chloe was AMAZING and the rest of the cast were good too. I really enjoyed it…

Amazing show. Lois was tremendous and looked very confident. They were all superb xx

…we all really enjoyed Matilda today… thank you.

Just to say again what a great show it was… I honestly can not praise it enough…

Thank you!! Just so wonderful watching the energy and enthusiasm of every member of the cast tonight. Brilliant performances, wonderfully creative production. A total joy to watch. X


As a member of NODA we are always delighted when our local representative comes to watch our productions. This year we were also pleased to welcome the NODA President to our opening night. After watching this performance, he kindly stayed o chat with our cast. Read on below to here what our NODA rep had to say about our production of Matilda.

NODA review

Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich
1st June 2022
Director Anna Lawrence
Musical Director Zelda Rolfe
Choreography Anna Lawrence

What an energy-packed piece of theatre we all enjoyed from this young cast at the Maddermarket. The thirty-five youngsters showed dedicated application to their roles, all knew exactly what and where their action needed to be and performed at the heights of their strengths. The singing was excellent standard. Each member had developed a back story and character and intensely stuck with it (Director Anna always very strong in this field working the youngsters.), and so we could watch as each youngster added so much to the action. The simple set of boxes worked so well as the cast moved them with precision of space and timing for the pictures formed.

Loved the interplay between the youngsters in school and in park, some really nice characterisations. The Wormwood Family a good unit of interplay. Liked the ‘reading’ sequences of Matilda and teacher/librarian. The circus sequence worked well. The relationship with Miss Honey (Chloe Coleman) felt warm and caring. This was a full cast participation throughout the action, really good.
Two performances shone so brightly and stole the show: Finn Richardson-Gunn is a big lad and he excelled in the role of Agatha Trunchbull, costume and wig ideal and his outgoing characterisation dominated. And in the title role, Flo Rymarz as Matilda was outstanding in her portrayal, singing and movement obviously showed why chosen for the role, her whole personality and acting just meant that one had to watch her constantly, a role to relish.

Watching these youngsters in performance, I can hardly wait for them ‘to grow up’ and bring their talents to the stages in Norfolk, congratulations.

Susan Dupont
Be Inspired by Amateur Theatre
National Operatic and Dramatic Association, 15 The Metro Centre, Peterborough, PE2 7UH
Tel:  01733 374790 –  www.noda.org.uk

Norwich Eye

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Norwich Eye is an independent website made in Norwich by a team who love this city. If you would like to contribute or comment please get in touch – norwich.eye@icloud.com

Norwich Eye review

Roald Dahl lived a life full of adventure and escapade, and wrote many magical tales and books, with some of his finest works being both about and for children. His robust style sometimes made him enemies, who wrongly lambasted him for intolerance while completely missing the main point of his writing, which is about his huge faith in the power of humanity and decency to overcome all obstacles. Matilda is one of his best loved stories, portraying a remarkably strong and intelligent girl whose warmth and wisdom and sheer exuberance defeats the many things blocking her path, including her own monstrous parents. Dahl has created some of the most distinctive and memorable characters in literature, and in Norwich we are lucky enough to have many of them on stage together at the atmospheric Maddermarket Theatre thinly disguised as the Limelight Theatre Company.

Sometimes, with a school or young people’s show you may feel the need to make allowances for youth or naivety, but you can forget that with this energetic and accomplished production. Director Anna Lawrence has a way with a young cast that gets them all performing brilliantly with no self conscious awkwardness, they clearly are all having a great time on this stage but never forget their characters or their place on a very busy stage.

Matilda the Musical is a show first commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford-Upon-Avon, and those people know a bit about good theatre.

Good casting is the building block for any great show, and Limelight have assembled a team for Matilda who are just right for this happy and positive tale. Matilda is performed with terrific energy and style by Florence Rymarz, who gets the balance between being a sassy young woman and a neglected young girl just right, with the confidence that makes Dahl’s Matilda such a memorable character and a positive role model for every young person. She sings well and has perfect comic timing.

Her champion in the awful school is Miss Honey, a caring teacher who spots Matilda’s talent immediately. Chloe Colman gives us a moving and skilful performance in this key role. Their school nemesis is the renowned butch bully Agatha Trunchbull, a great villainous role that gets a thoroughly wicked and good account from Finn Richardson-Gunn. Matilda’s parents are so awful that they would hopefully be done for neglect these days, but Harrison McKay and Florence Bullion bring Mr and Mrs Wormwood so convincingly to life that we cannot help sharing Matilda’s ultimate sympathy for their hopelessness, with Caitlin Plumb also just right as Matilda’s dozy brother.

This show gives many cast members a chance to impress us, and they do. Look out for Joseph Newton as the greedy Bruce Bogtrotter, and Harper Boon as the hapless little Amanda, thrown over a fence by the vengeful Trunchbull just for having pigtails. Tanvi Karé is just right as the librarian Mrs Phelps, who encourages Matilda to tell a fantastic tale that we see acted out before us. With a cast of 35 there are many other distinctive characters and great performances and they all contribute to making this a memorable bit of theatre.

This is a show full of cheerful music, reckless adventure and a bit of mild peril and it reminds us all that the power of warmth and positivity overcomes the bullies who try and thwart us along our way. The cast are confident and clever, and work well to give us a show that is a delight not just for their mums and dads and siblings but for all of us lucky enough to get a ticket. If you haven’t bought one already, make sure you do, or I will be sending that Miss Trunchbull round to sort you out. And you wouldn’t want that.

Matilda Jr by Limelight Theatre Company is at the Maddermarket Theatre until Saturday 4th June with performances at 2.30 and 7.30 every day.  Book your tickets directly with the Maddermarket box office on 01603 620917 or online here: https://maddermarket.co.uk/event/roald-dahls-matilda-the-musical-jr/

© Julian Swainson, Norwich Eye, 1st June 2022

Come back next time for more reviews of the Limelight Theatre Company 💚


“The Next Steps has done wonders for my son. He started the classes to get his confidence up ready for nursery and a year on is taking part in their production of Joseph! Sarah is an amazing teacher and has really got him out of his shell. Can’t recommend Limelight enough :-)”

Next Steps pupil Harry’s mummy