'I felt like I was watching a West End show' - Rugby's Avon Valley pupils wow audiences with Matilda performance

Pupils from Rugby’s Avon Valley School and Performing Arts College have wowed audiences with a run of sell-out performances of Matilda.

Matilda, played by Emily Adamson - and Lily White as Miss Trunchbull
Matilda, played by Emily Adamson - and Lily White as Miss Trunchbull

In what was their first performance since the pandemic, the school’s students performed in front of sell-out audiences on each of the show’s five nights.

A spokesperson for the school said: “Almost twelve months after auditioning for the show, and after many months of rehearsals, the whole cast, which featured almost 100 students from Year 7 to Year 11, did themselves proud.”

One comment left on the school’s Facebook page read:“First time watching tonight. Absolutely blown away by the professionalism of the cast and production. So, so good! Well done to everyone involved”.

Another read: “Just wanted to say how amazing tonight’s performance was! I honestly felt like I was watching a West End show. The children were so incredibly talented and wow what an amazing opportunity for the children!”

Four of the school’s most talented students each took a turn at performing in the show’s principle role, Matilda.

The students selected for the lead role were Year 7 student Isla Iles, Year 8 students Freya Lee and Daisy Adamson, and Year 10 Emily Adamson.

They were joined on stage with the rest of the cast, the ensemble and dancers who came from all year groups.

Elisa Wheatley, performing arts faculty leader, said, “A huge amount of hard work and effort from the students, and my team, went into the show and we were really pleased with the results. All the students involved in the production did a great job and they should all be very proud.”

Headteacher Alison Davies said, “After two years where it has not been possible to run a show this was a great comeback and the students were a credit to the school.

"I was delighted to see that every night sold out and that the friends and family members of the cast could join us to see the students on stage.

"It was wonderful to hear how impressed the audience were as they left the performance. Well done to our performing arts team and to all the students involved – you were all fantastic.”