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Impressive calibre at Matilda the Musical Auditions

It is with great excitement that we officially announce this year’s school musical will be none other than Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical!

After it’s smashing success on Broadway, the Westend and international touring productions, the musical will be brought to Port Macquarie. The genius music and lyrics by Tim Minchin will be performed by our Year 5 to Year 9 students.

Over 120 students auditioned for a role in the musical. Members of our casting panel, Marie Van Gend and Catherine Grootenboer, had the challenging task of narrowing the production to a cast of 80.

Marie Van Gend – Matilda the Musical Vocal Director

What was the audition procedure of Matilda the Musical?

Each student did both a vocal and drama audition. In the vocal audition, they sang a short section of a song of their choice and then did some aural tests to check their range and ability to match pitch. It was pretty scary—but if you’re wanting to have a solo then you’re going to be singing in front of 300 people in the audience anyway, so it’s important to do this. All the kids were very supportive of each other.

What was the standard of talent in these auditions?

We have some amazingly talented kids in this school! I was delighted with the very high standard of auditioners, and am confident that the leads will be able to pull off their roles magnificently. We also have an enormous chorus who are sounding fabulous already.

What is some feedback you can offer to both those who were successful and unsuccessful in their audition?

The big thing is that this is a musical. It means you have to sing and have to want to sing. The kids who were in the various choirs were noticeably stronger than those who hadn’t been in the choirs—so join a choir!

Can you describe the cast that were selected?

We have doubled up the main roles of Miss Trunchbull, Miss Honey and Mr and Mrs Wormwood and those have mostly gone to students in Year 8 and 9. The two Matildas are students from Year 7. All these students are very strong, confident and enthusiastic. We then have a fantastic group of Years 5 to 7 students who are playing the “little kids” in Matilda’s class. They have big roles to play and are doing a fantastic job.

Having completed the auditions, what excites you the most about this cast?

Their enthusiasm and talent!

What can audience members look forward to when seeing SCAS’ production of Matilda the Musical?

This production has to be very different from the original Broadway one as that is part of the contract agreement—so it will be fresh and creative. The music and lyrics are brilliant and there is a wonderful mix of poignancy and joy in the story. The show is supported by a live band/orchestra made up of students and staff. The creative team have a great working relationship and I am confident we will be able to pull together a fantastic show that showcases the dramatic, musical, dancing and production talents of our students.

What is your favourite thing about Matilda the Musical?

The music and lyrics by Tim Minchin are just brilliant. The man is a genius.


Catherine Grootenboer – Matilda the Musical Director

What was the audition procedure for Matilda the Musical?

Interested students were asked to turn up on our first audition afternoon, and there were over 100 kids who did! All of them then either came to the drama/speaking section or the singing section. In the drama/speaking section, students were given a section of Dr Seuss’ story ‘Sneetches on the Beaches’ to read. They could do a small part of it or all of it. They did this in year groups with another year group watching.

Students who wanted to be part of the Junior Drama Ensemble (Year 7 and 8) for this year or who weren’t successful for a callback audition, were automatically given a role in the chorus.

We then ran a second callback audition afternoon where students were grouped into the characters they were chosen for and Marie taught them a small section of the song that their characters sang. They then all sung together and individually in front of the other students auditioning and Ms Ciampa and I made notes.

The Senior Drama leaders (Greg Mitchell and Emily Reynolds) took groups of the students auditioning for characters such as Matilda and Miss Honey, to learn some simple scenes that they read to us.

What was the standard of talent in these auditions?

Very high!! SO many kids who have great expressive voices, faces, bodies! And so many capable students across so many age groups!

What is some feedback you can offer to both those who were successful and unsuccessful in their audition?

In regards to the drama/speaking section, I would say: this is your one shot to show us your skills so make sure you do! Be brave and show off what is special about you. You don’t need to be like everyone else, you need to be you!

Can you describe the cast that were selected?

The cast that has been selected are a huge range of ages, great singers and great actors. They seem enthusiastic and excited about being in Matilda the Musical.

Having completed the auditions, what excites you most about this cast?

How talented they are and how well they suit the roles in the musical.

What can audience members look forward to when seeing SCAS’ production of Matilda the Musical?

There are SO many things that are my favourite! The music, the lyrics, the characters and the message of the story. Make sure you come and see it in Term 4. You will not regret it!

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