Merrifield College’s production of Matilda — The Musical has been nominated 12 times at this year’s Broadway World SA awards.
Some of the categories include best musical, best ensemble, best theatre for young audiences production, best performer in a musical, best scenic design in a play/musical, best lighting design in a play/musical.
Broadway World is an online platform that publishes news on all things Broadway, theatre, and live entertainment from around the world.
These awards provide SA nominees with the opportunity for worldwide recognition for their productions.
Merrifield College’s director of culture and music, Marc Williams, who directed Matilda — The Musical, said the production had brought much needed excitement and interest into performing arts at Merrifield and East London as a whole.
“It has completely energised me, and it has created a huge awareness among the pupils.
“Hopefully, it will increase the already growing interest in the performing arts at Merrifield. The performing arts don’t always get the recognition they deserve.
“Last year, schools were in separate categories, but this year they have been included alongside professional theatre makers.
“So, it is extremely exciting to know that we have been considered with the likes of Pieter Toerien productions, Duane Alexander and Anton Luitingh,” Williams said.
Music teacher and the production’s stage manager Dwight Morrings, expressed his gratitude, saying it was a true honour for Matilda — The Musical to be nominated in so many categories.
“The performing arts industry went through a lot of hardships during the Covid-19 lockdown, and it took some time for it to pick up again.
“Being back in the theatre and working on this phenomenal musical built so many new relationships and it proved that the performing arts is a part of our everyday lives,” Morrings said.
Merrifield College pupils have also expressed their excitement at being a part of a multi-award nominated production.
The lead role of Matilda was played by the talented grade 8 pupil, Paxton Luyt.
“I’ve always loved this character and I was very grateful to be able to play Matilda and to be part of the show.”
Shaelyn Hartley, the grade 11 pupil who played Matilda’s over-the-top, almost caricature mother, Mrs Wormwood, said it was an exciting experience to try something new.
“This has been an amazing experience and I stepped out of my comfort zone to play this larger-than-life character,” Hartley said.
Local performer Daniel Anderson has also been nominated for his cabaret performance of Vincent, and the Guild Theatre has once again been nominated in the favourite local theatre category.
The winners will be determined by public voting, and the public has been invited to vote for their favorite acts by visiting the Broadway World SA website: https://www.broadwayworld.com/south-africa/voteregion.cfm.