· Over 120,000 people have seen the RSC’s production of Matilda The Musical in Birmingham
· Approximately 350 school children and young people have taken part in associated education projects
· Thousands have enjoyed Matilda-inspired visual arts exhibitions at Birmingham Hippodrome and New Street Station
This week, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s multi-award-winning production of Matilda The Musical will play its final performances at Birmingham Hippodrome after playing a total of 79 performances. The production will conclude its run on Saturday evening (8 September) before continuing its current tour around the UK and Ireland.
During Matilda The Musical’s acclaimed run at Birmingham Hippodrome, over 120,000 audience members walked through the central Birmingham venue’s doors – consuming over 37,000 ice creams and snapping up more than 15,000 programmes.
Throughout the production’s stay in Birmingham, Matilda has been seen facing-off with the famous Bullring bronze bull, building marvellous creations at the Legoland Discovery Centre and sharing a passion for reading at the Library of Birmingham. A series of rarely-seen backstage photos were also taken during a performance, giving insight into the behind the scenes world at Birmingham Hippodrome.
As part of Birmingham Hippodrome’s ongoing work as an independent registered charity, the magic of Matilda spread far and wide across the region away from the main auditorium. Delivering a series of specially created education workshops and events, Hippodrome Projects reached approximately 350 young people engaging them in the wider themes of Matilda including storytelling, family and friendship.
Thousands of people also enjoyed a free exhibition of illustrations inspired by Roald Dahl’s Matilda which were displayed in both the Birmingham Hippodrome foyers and New Street Station.
Fiona Allan, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Birmingham Hippodrome said:
“Matilda The Musical is one of the biggest hit shows of the last decade, and the production’s 10 week stay here at Birmingham Hippodrome has been no exception, with over 120,000 people joining us over summer.
“It has been a pleasure to welcome so many young people and their families to the theatre during this time: for many this was their first taste of the magic of theatre, and given the standing ovations every performance, it is obvious they enjoyed themselves.
"During the run we have also delivered a huge variety of Hippodrome Projects activity in schools and the local community- from visual arts exhibitions at New Street station to a summer school writing a new musical inspired by Roald Dahl; ensuring that people young and old could engage with Matilda’s broader themes of friendship and fairness”
Catherine Mallyon, Executive Director of the RSC said: “We are thrilled that Hippodrome audiences have responded so warmly to our production of Matilda The Musical, delighting thousands of people, young and old.
The show originally opened in Stratford-upon-Avon in 2010, and since then has played on Broadway, and in North America, Australia and New Zealand. It is shortly to open in Seoul, and continues to perform in the West End. Despite all that, taking Matilda The Musical to the fantastic Birmingham Hippodrome has been something really special – for the RSC, a company that is proud to be based in the Midlands, our visit to Birmingham felt as though Matilda had come home.”
Matilda The Musical is written by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, and direction by Matthew Warchus. The production is designed by Rob Howell, with choreography by Peter Darling, orchestrations, additional music and musical supervision by Christopher Nightingale, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, sound by Simon Baker and the special effects and illusions are by Paul Kieve.
Matilda The Musical swept the board at the 2012 Olivier Awards, with a record-breaking seven awards, and won four Tony Awards and a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theater for the four girls sharing the title role on Broadway. The North America production toured to 52 cities.
The production is accompanied by Change My Story, a new education programme inspired by Matilda The Musical which engages young people in towns and cities across the UK and Ireland. With a travelling library of stories led by the musical’s librarian Mrs Phelps and whole school takeovers, the RSC aims to reach over 15,000 children, in collaboration with touring theatre partners. Further details can be found at http://uk.matildathemusical.com/tour/schools/matilda-school-resources/.
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