The school hall was filled with the smell of rebellion when Banstead Prep School presented Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical Jr. to a VIP audience last this week. Based on the beloved book “Matilda” by Roald Dahl and adapted from the award-winning full-length musical, Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical JR. tells the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny.

The cast, made up of Years 5 and 6, were phenomenal, performing with energy and evident talent.  Mrs Charlotte Lane, Subject Lead for Music was impressed: “Matilda is not an easy show to tackle but we never doubted that this group would give it their all and rise to the challenge.  It has been such a privilege and a joy to witness their courage, their passion, their enthusiasm and the blossoming of their talent over the past weeks.   We are enormously proud of these revolting children, and we really hope that the audience enjoyed every bit of their performance!”

Mrs Angela Dziedziela, the school’s Drama Subject Lead was delighted with this year’s choice of musical: “During the Christmas holidays both Mrs Lane and I went to the cinema to watch the new film version of ‘Matilda’ and it was at that moment that I knew that this was going to be the musical for our 2023 cohort. We began to visualise how it would look and which characters the children might play. There was a buzz of excitement and a little bit of dread, which are the emotions I normally feel when I am about to start a show. Those feelings have stayed with me throughout rehearsals but now I also feel a massive sense of pride. The children have come so far, and I am so proud of each and every one.”

Mr Jon Chesworth, Headteacher, welcomed honoured guests on opening night, Tuesday 4 July, including the Mayor of Reigate and Banstead  Councillor Eddy Humphreys, who commented, “The performance was amazing, they looked so confident and most of all [they all] had fun with their show.” Other guests included Cllr Humphreys’s wife Sarah, Headteachers Mr Cory Lowde from Box Hill School and Mr Andrew Burbidge from Banstead Infant School, Ms Ally Tiltman, Associate Assistant Principal at Harris Academy Sutton, Mr Mark Boxall, Banstead Prep’s Chair of Local Governing Body and both the outgoing Chair of the Banstead Prep Supporters’ Association (BPSA), Tamara Hammad, and the incoming BPSA Chair, Ruple Amin.

Mr Chesworth was emotional after the show, explaining to the audience that he’d recently been asked by one of the children what was the best thing about being a Headteacher.  Indicating the packed auditorium, the stage and the children on it, “It’s this, it’s that and it’s you!” he told the cast and crew, “I couldn’t be more proud of you all.”