Above from left: Jaxon Dearing as Michael Wormwood, Avery Pelletier as Matilda Wormwood, and Lauren Andrews as Mrs. Wormwood. – Stephen Dafoe Photos
by Stephen Dafoe
Opening night of Morinville Community High School’s production of Matilda concluded on Wednesday night, as the school’s productions often do, with a well-deserved standing ovation.
An audience of approximately 350 witnessed the culmination of almost four months of hard work to bring the beloved 1988 Roald Dahl children’s novel to the stage.
Matilda tells the story of Matilda Wormwood, a brilliant young girl with an insatiable love for books and an uncaring, neglectful family.
Despite her challenging home life, Matilda discovers she possesses extraordinary telekinetic powers. With the help of her kind-hearted teacher, Miss Honey, Matilda uses her newfound abilities to stand up against the tyrannical headmistress of her school, Miss Trunchbull, and ultimately finds a place where her talents are celebrated.
The heartwarming tale celebrates the power of intelligence, kindness, and the indomitable spirit of a determined young girl, mixing humour, tenderness, song and well-choreographed numbers with an ensemble cast.
MCHS theatre veteran Avery Pelletier plays the title role, and although a Grade 11 student, is persuasive in playing the part of a whimsical and intelligent 6-year-old.
Lauren Andrews in the role of Matilda’s mother, Mrs. Wormwood, Kaleb Imgrund-Harvey as Mr. Wormwood, and Jaxon Dearing as Matilda’s brother, Michael Wormwood, offered many comedic elements and moments to the play.
What Madden Coules as the librarian Mrs. Phelps and Dalice Brown as teacher Miss Honey bring to the stage in terms of warmness and kindness was matched in the opposite direction by Jillian Andrews’ performance as the villainously cruel Agatha Trunchbull.
The cast comprises 35 student actors, including five from Georges H. Primeau Middle School, with performers ranging from Grades 7 to 12.
MCHS Drama Teacher Vanessa King directed the production, assisted by music director and vocal coach Riley Quinn and MCHS alumni Katrina Thrussell, Daphne Charrois, Jordan Imgrund-Harvey, Aiden McIver, and Alana Mathieu.
That alumni expertise added to this year’s performance in terms of sound, lighting, costuming, choreography, and set development. As is so often the case in MCHS’ theatrical productions, the set is one of the show’s stars. Though less elaborate than past sets, this year’s set is no less a giant on the MCCC stage.
Matilda marks the third Dahl story brought to the Morinville Stage. The school has previously performed Willy Wonka and James and the Giant Peach.
This year’s production runs Thursday and Friday evening, Dec. 7 and 8. Doors open at 6:30, with the show starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. They can be purchased online.
Below is a gallery of photos taken during the technical rehearsal on Tuesday, Dec. 5.