Making news

Hanoi kids perform Matilda the Musical

Dozens of primary and secondary students in Hanoi danced, sang in English and played roles in the world-acclaimed “Matilda the Musical” on the stage in Hanoi on July 24.

The performance was the first part of a two-night run of the musical, an initiative aiming to allow Hanoi kids to enjoy the Broadway-style entertainment while learning some skills.

The project was inspired by the award-winning “Matilda the Musical” performed by British students.

The Vietnamese version of Matilda the Musical, also based on the 1988 children’s novel of the same name by Roald Dahl, has a new script and music written by Hanoian artists.

It features Matilda, a school girl with the gift of telekinesis, who helps her classmates get rid of their evil headmaster who made their school like a jail.

Nguyen Hoang Tung, the scriptwriter of the show, talked about the challenges and delight in working with amateur kid actors over the past five months.

“They had no acting experience at all,” Tung said, adding many were shy, while others had poor English capability.

The crew faced challenges in instructing the kids how to act, dance and sing in English. However, they learned fast and gained confidence on the stage.

Tung hoped that the show would be a beginning for the development of the professional musicals in Vietnam.

Johanette Corlia Pelser, English language coach of the show, expressed her surprise at the development of the kids in both acting and English language skills.

“The show will blow people’s minds. The kids are performing like adults,” Pelser said.

She also described the show as a fun break for the kids from their busy schedules with traditional and extra classes.

“I could see Hanoi kids were so busy with their sport, piano, or English classes,” Johanette said, adding that the show was a great experience for them to have fun together and learn acting skills as well as some English.

Vu Minh Chau, 11, starred as Matilda and expressed her happiness to be on stage, saying that the experience helps her feel confident.

Meanwhile, Mai Bui Phuong Linh, also 11, who played the headmaster said she loves the practice time with the crew.

“I hope that there will be more musical programmes in the future as this is a very interesting way for us kids to play and learn English,” Linh said.

The musical is performed by sixty children, aged between 8 and 16, dividing into two troupes.

The second troupe will perform on the night of July 25 at the Tuoi Tre (Youth) Theatre, 11 Ngo Thi Nham street, Hanoi.