Kirkby Stephen Grammar School’s show stopping performance of the play Matilda completely sold out on the Saturday night, it completely amazed the whole audience. Cast and crew said hard work had paid off for all involved after weeks of rehearsals and preparation.

Kirkby Stephen Grammar School is known for their yearly Christmas show. In the past they have staged Bugsy Malone, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and Romeo and Juliet. Jenna Drury, head girl, alongside studying hard for her A-levels and attending university interviews for medicine was keen to take part despite her busy schedule. The people running the performance understood this and allowed her to play Miss Honey as they knew she would be able to catch up with rehearsals and perfect her lines. She said: “Matilda was such an amazing experience I will never forget; I had the opportunity to work with incredibly talented peers and I was so proud of the final product we brought to life”. Jenna added how rewarding taking part was for her and that the play also resulted in closeness between the cast due to the positive working environment created. Saying the play was brought to life shows how much energy and dedication was put in to create such a rewarding final product!

The head of drama Mrs Whitehead worked with the head of music Mrs West, to run auditions to see which pupils would best suit which roles. They decided on two casts to allow as many students as possible to join in as so many people were keen to be apart. Students who didn’t want to act could choose to go backstage and do a number of jobs such as: lighting, sounds, set design etc.

On the week of the performances, they did four in total, one was for local primary schools and the children were absolutely mesmerised. Lauren Whitehead was the director, she helped students with their lines and acting. The cast sang and danced too, Karen West gave singing lessons to improve the actors’ confidence and voices. Liz Botterill (who was also the assistant director) alongside Ellie Hall choreographed and taught the cast quick paced, fun dance routines.

Next year, Kirkby Stephen Grammar School is keen to put on another show. Mrs Whitehead added: “Students grew confidence, made new friends, and improved existing skills on top of making their family and friends in the audience extremely proud!”