Before Carvel leaves though, there will be some other departures in the show. Lauren Ward and Paul Kaye who play Miss Honey and Mr Wormwood respectively take their final bows this April, with Haley Flaherty and Steve Furst taking over on 17th April 2012. Flaherty was last in the West End playing the role of Meg Giry in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom sequel Love Never Dies but has also had leading roles in shows such as The Rocky Horror Show (Janet) and Grease (Sandy). Furst is a comedian, actor and writer who most people will recognise from the Orange mobile phone cinema adverts and his regular appearances in Little Britain. The ‘Matilda’ team will also see a shake-up, with Kerry Ingram and Sophia Kiely leaving and Jade Marner and Isobelle Molloy (currently playing Amanda Thripp) joining current ‘Matildas’ Cleo Demetriou and Eleanor Worthington Cox. From August, Hayley Carnham also joins the company.
The first cast change of a new West End show is always a big event as, until that moment, fans have had no experience of any other performers in the roles. As I said, it can sometimes be hard to imagine anyone else playing them, but if you always keep an open mind – even if it is your favourite performer who’s leaving – then often, you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised.
Matilda The Musical is a phenomenal show that has become one of the biggest West End hits of 2011 and with the booking period having been extended to February 2013 and plans for the RSC to take the production to New York in early 2013, it seems that the only way for Matilda is up.
By Julie Robinson (@missjulie25)
Thursday 29th March 2012