‘Matilda - The Musical’ brings Dahl’s quirky and enchanting story to life

Tristan Marques as the dreaded headmistress Agatha Trunchbull and Adriana Sevell as Matilda in “Matilda - The Musical.” Picture: Supplied.

Tristan Marques as the dreaded headmistress Agatha Trunchbull and Adriana Sevell as Matilda in “Matilda - The Musical.” Picture: Supplied.

Published Jun 19, 2024


For years, Johannesburg's Northcliff High School has had its annual musical delighting Durban theatregoers.

This year's production, “Matilda - The Musical”, will be staged at the Playhouse Drama Theatre from Wednesday, June 19, until Sunday, June 23.

Based on British author Roald Dahl’s 1988 children’s novel “Matilda”, the production promises to be enchanting and somewhat quirky.

Producer and director Nick Jourdan, from Northcliff High Musical Productions, said: “‘Matilda -The Musical’ is not in the happy-sing-along-to well-known-tunes genre.

“It is fresh, completely different, but also exciting and fun. Audiences sit absorbed and will have a truly feel-good sense at the end for what they thought is completely out of the ordinary and the play nevertheless has that inevitable happy ending.

Gabrielle Flaum in the role of Mrs Wormwood along with members of the cast. Picture: Supplied.

“This year’s performance group is missing outstanding stalwarts from previous years. It is a sad fact that five years pass only too quickly and matrics move on to greater challenges and leave big shoes to fill.

“Albeit this is a school production, the young cast, assisted by their technical crew, deliver remarkable performances in this slick and polished production.”

This will be the 40th production for Northcliff High and the 24th show to come to the Playhouse.

Jourdan has also been responsible for productions like “The Addams Family”, “Spamalot”, “Sister Act” and the highly popular “High School Musical.”

Adriana Sevell has been cast as Matilda, while Tristan Marques will star as the feared headmistress, Agatha Trunchbull. The rest of the cast includes Scott Maynard, Gabrielle Flaum and Angelica Rennie.

Adriana Sevell plays Matilda. Picture: Supplied.

A live orchestra, lead by Durban musical director Matthew Vlok, rounds off the production.

“Theatre lovers will be captivated by this enchanting tale of ‘Matilda’, our intrepid little heroine with curious mystical powers, as she navigates a life of adversity, neglectful parents and a villainous ogre of a headmistress Agatha Trunchbull, over all of which, she triumphs in the end,” explained Jourdan.

Evening performances are at 7.30pm with matinees on Saturday at 2pm and Sunday at 3pm. Tickets are R100 and R80 for seniors. Booking through Webtickets. No under-4s will be permitted.

“Ushukela Vibes”

Drakensberg Boys Choir. Picture: Supplied.

The Drakensberg Boys Choir will perform their “Ushukela Vibes” concert at the iZulu Theatre for two shows only.

The concerts will raise funds for the choir’s “Hear Us Sing UK Tour” which is set for September 20 to 30, to allow for these musical ambassadors to take their talent to British audiences.

“To make the tour a reality, additional funding is required to cover costs such as flights, UK ground travel, accommodation and subsistence. We welcome additional funding partners to support our boys as they represent the nation,” said Drakensberg Boys Choir School (DBCS) executive head, Dave Cato.

Regarding their upcoming tour, DBCS artistic director Vaughan van Zyl added: “The United Kingdom tour in September promises to be a true highlight.

“UK audiences will be able to delight in the renowned vocal and rhythmic qualities of this esteemed boys’ choir and their balanced repertoire and prowess in both classical choral concert music by Mozart and Carl Orff as well as African and Afro-pop genres made famous by Miriam Makeba, Mango Groove and Johnny Clegg.”

Where: iZulu Theatre at Sibaya Casino.

When: June 20 to 21, at 7pm.

Cost: Tickets start from R180 and are available through Webtickets.

“The Emperor’s New Clothes”

Cast of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. Picture: Supplied.

Greg King and Steven Stead are staging their holiday production of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre until Sunday, July 7.

The 70-minute-long production tells the story of Emperor Marcus the Third, a 14-year-old who is nervous to take the throne.

Deciding that he can gain confidence by dressing in the finest attire, Marcus commands his royal clothesmaker to fashion him in the most royal wardrobe.

Taking advantage of Marcus’s uncertainty and immaturity, a swindler promises to make magic clothes that are “invisible to fools, liars and anyone you should ignore”, for a large and hefty price.

Directed by Stead, with stage designs by King, the colourful musical promises to delight children and adults.

Where: The Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, UKZN.

When: Runs until July 7.

Cost: R120 and R220 from Webtickets.