The Royal Shakespeare Company enhances educational programme for Matilda The Musical

The Royal Shakespeare Company has refreshed its education activity for Matilda The Musical to include a comprehensive planning guide for schools. The new guide, developed in close consultation with teachers, includes everything needed to plan, book and take a school trip to the Cambridge Theatre. With practical advice for the day, dedicated hands-on support to guide teaches through the process of booking a trip and links to the curriculum, the new guide works alongside the production’s education website which includes downloadable resources, risk assessments, educational videos and teaching ideas to support learning.

Teachers can use these resources to help them explore the themes of Matilda The Musical once back in the classroom. These include introductory material, resources and curriculum links to Drama, English, Music and PSHE, as well as fun teaching tools such as bookmarks inspired by Roald Dahl’s famous book worm.  The themes covered are as broad as anti-bullying, the ingenuity behind lyric writing and composition, and telling a beloved story onstage.

From September, in-person workshops for primary and secondary school pupils will also begin again at the Cambridge Theatre on Wednesdays from 10.30am-12pm during term time. Led by RSC practitioners, the workshops are designed to introduce students to the story Matilda The Musical, the key characters and the creative process of bringing it to life on stage. The 90 minute sessions can be tailored to meet the needs of students of all ages from 6 years old and upwards.

As with all of the RSC’s Education activity, the workshops are based on the Company’s active approaches to learning which use the same techniques RSC actors and directors use in rehearsal. A playful approach to learning that engages pupils of all ages and abilities and is proven to support literacy and language development alongside many other key work and life skills.

The RSC’s Director of Learning, Jacqui O’Hanlon MBE says:

There is no substitute for the shared experience of live theatre. Research shows that taking learning beyond the classroom can be transformative: bringing subjects to life and creating unforgettable experiences that invigorate classroom learning and can prove life-changing.

“At the RSC, we believe that every young person can benefit from arts and creative experiences to unlock potential and develop vital social, emotional, life and work skills. Our own research shows that our approaches to learning support development of reading and writing skills, accelerate language acquisition, foster well-being, tolerance, empathy and resilience. They also promote critical-thinking, creative, analytical, communication and problem-solving skills.

“Over the past two years, young people have missed out on so much. We are thrilled that, as well as using the new teaching tools and resources, schools can once again enjoy performances that will inform and inspire their learning long after they’ve left the auditorium.”

Adapted from the much-loved Roald Dahl book and commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, Matilda The Musical has won 99 international awards including 24 for Best Musical and has been seen by more than 10 million people across more than 90 cities worldwide. A tonic for audiences of all ages, this anarchic production about a strong and determined heroine with a vivid imagination has welcomed almost 4 million audience members in London where it recently celebrated 10 years in the West End.

Written by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin and developed and directed by Matthew Warchus, the theatre production is designed by Rob Howell, with choreography by Peter Darling, orchestrations, additional music and musical supervision by Christopher Nightingale, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, sound by Simon Baker and the special effects and illusions are by Paul Kieve.

With the upcoming film adaptation from the same core creative team as the theatre production (direction by Matthew Warchus, adapted for the screen by Dennis Kelly, with the music and lyrics of Tim Minchin), Roald Dahl’s themes of bravery and standing up for what you believe in will continue to inspire young audiences all over the world. Produced by Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner of Working Title, Jon Finn, and Luke Kelly of The Roald Dahl Story Company. Sony Pictures U.K. and Tristar Pictures will release Matilda across the U.K. and Ireland exclusively in cinemas on 2 December 2022 for Christmas. Netflix will release the film in the rest of the world on 25 December 2022.

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