Summer School Savoyards have a revoltingly good time!
What do you do with the kids in the summer hols? Send them off to summer-school for a week is the answer. But is ‘school’ fun, especially during a holiday? Well, it clearly was for the young people who attended the Island Savoyards Summer Workshop.
After seeing the script for the first time on day one and only having four days rehearsal, an audience of 80+ family and friends were treated to a performance of Matilda – The Musical.
There were some immediate and lasting impressions. Throughout, the singing, dancing and acting was on point. Everyone was a well formed troupe. Surely have they done this before? Whilst there were some familiar faces from the island theatre scene, the enthusiasm and stage presence from everyone shone through. It was clear; they were a well formed troupe, a team
cooperative or coordinated effort on the part of a group of persons acting together as a team or in the interests of a common cause
example: see The Island Savoyards Summer Workshop production of Matilda – The Musical.
Kaitlyn Donovan was charming as the eponymous heroine. Her strong voice fitted the Matilda-mould perfectly. The opening number “Miracle” starts out bright and runs into dark. In the song, Matilda and a strong supporting cast of classmates sing that their parents brag about them as a princess, a prince, an angel and a special little soldier. [Note: in reality, they will be bragging about them being actors, dancers and entertainers from now on!]
Some of the best comedy performances were provided by Mr and Mrs Wormwood. The over the top, but very recognisable Mrs Wormwood character, brought to life very realistically by Millie Lake was spot on. Matthew Lane as Mr Wormwood steered the show with the more junior cast feeding off his exuding confidence. This was accompanied by some more stand-out characterisation from Xander Craggs, who played Michael, Matilda’s brother. With his constant open-mouthed stare at the TV, he played the antithesis of all the young talent on this stage.
…and the talent was in abundance.
The roles of the teachers were inspired choices. Ashleigh Hunt-Davis has a beautiful voice. Portraying the well-intentioned and shy Miss Honey, she captivated the audience during her more melancholy solo and provided the perfect comfort and security to Matilda. Alexis Mackness played the delightful and helpful Mrs Phelps. Sophia Houghton captured the spirit of headmistress and ex-shot-putter Miss Trunchball perfectly; clearly enjoying her tyranny over the all the “Maggots!”
The ‘maggots’ / school kids weaved in and out across the stage constantly. The singing and dancing accomplished. Big congratulations should go to “Team Triple A” (Andee Lowthion, Andrew Woodford and Ashleigh Mackness). This was a truly inclusive production with expertly and confidently delivered lines shared amongst the whole chorus. Matilda’s friends were made up of ‘poor Nigel’ (played with cheeky expression from William Gregory, evading the ‘Chokey’ from under a big pile of coats), Lavender (Ailsa McCarthy), Hortensia (Grace Thomson), Eric (Sonnie Venier) and Amanda (Bonita Hunnybun). And then there was Bruce, played by a ‘hungry?’ Nathaniel Craggs, who had the biggest cake you had ever seen to devour/contend with!
Our young cast were not going to be upstaged by the remnants of the chocolate cake (aka ‘slip hazard’) which adorned centre stage for the last third the show. Like true professionals, the whole cast tackled the obstacle in their (adjusted) strides. The ‘show must go on’ and it did!
The last number of the show, “Revolting Children“, was an upbeat, energetic triumph! The cast spilling off the stage and taking over the floor of the room. Everyone was moving, singing and having fun. The joy in the faces of the cast being mirrored in the faces of the audience.
This is the first summer workshop from the Island Savoyards. The audience of family and friends were very impressed. We all hope that we can look forward to another summer school next year. In the meantime, the children should be congratulated and feel very proud of their summer school performance.
“YOU ALL GRADUATED WITH HONOURS!”
Director: Andee Lowthion
Musical Director: Andrew Woodford
Choreographer: Ashleigh Mackness
Additional Choreography: Jake Alabaster