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Students are allowed to be ‘Naughty’ as academy stages popular musical


Nov 25, 2021

Revolting children are running amok in a Middlesbrough school – but it is all in the name of performance.

Student actors are back on stage at for the first time in two years and the show is set to be a sell-out.

The family favourite as captured the imaginations of students across the Coulby Newham academy and a cast of 50 will take to the stage for a three-night run on November 24-26.

Head of drama and show director Mr Eddie Jones said: “We were in the process of applying for the rights for another show before the lockdown but when Matilda junior was released for schools it was a no-brainer, we knew we had to go for it.

“Everyone loves Matilda. Although the story is quite twee, the music is much edgier and the students love the songs by Tim Minchin including When I Grow Up, Revolting Children, Miracle and, of course, Naughty.”

In a first for the academy, the rehearsal schedule along with videos of dance routines and songs are being all shared on Teams for the students to follow.

“It’s one good thing that has come out of Covid,” said Mr Jones. “We put systems in place for home learning during the pandemic and it is really useful for the show as well; it’s better for communication and it means parents of our higher learning needs students can follow what their children need to be doing.”

Auditions took place in June and the show was cast in July giving students time in the summer holidays to learn their lines.

“The cast is probably our newest ever in that, in the past two years, our older actors have left and we’ve had two new cohorts at Year 7. However, we’ve also had more students from Years 10 and 11 coming forward this time who haven’t been in a show before because Matilda is the one they want to be in,” added Mr Jones.

Year 8 student Dylann Bone, 12, has the starring role. She comes from a family of dancers with three sisters Ashton, Morgan and Finley.

Dylann said: “I love the musical and the songs are so catchy. I haven’t seen the West End show but I’ve seen the cast do performances on TV and it’s amazing. My favourite song is definitely Naughty, but I also like Quiet because it shows another side to Matilda.

“There’s a lot of pressure as this is my first show at The King’s Academy but I’ve found that even if you’re a bit shy around new people to start with once you get to know them you feel more comfortable. I’m feeling a bit nervous, I just want to get out there and perform now.”

Alongside her will be Rachel Geddes, 16, who plays Miss Honey. A stalwart of past shows including Mary Poppins, in which she was the lead, Alice in Wonderland, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Beauty and the Beast, Rachel is combining rehearsals with new A Levels in drama, psychology and English literature.

She said: “It’s so nice to be back doing a show, we’ve all really missed it. It’s such a nice thing to do as a way to relax after the work from school.”

Daniel Yellow, 17, who has also previously starred in several King’s shows, is the indomitable Miss Trunchbull.

Mr Jones is supported by musical director Miss Vicky Coggon, choreographer Mrs Danielle Dodsworth and costume designer Mrs Carey Brownless. The set has been created by the art department, led by Mr Kevin Morris.

In another first for the academy, tickets are only being sold online. The Friday evening performance is sold out but tickets are still available for Wednesday, November 24 and Thursday, November 25 via http://ticketsource.co.uk/the-kings-academy

By French