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Blood & Sanders to join cast of Matilda the Musical

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

Producers of the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical have announced further upcoming principal cast changes. Jennifer Blood will assume the role of Miss Honey from Allison Case on 6 September, while John Sanders will replace Rick Holmes as Mr. Wormwood from 13 September 2016. Ms Case and Mr Holmes will play their final performances on 4 September and 11 September, respectively.

As previously reported, original cast member Lesli Margherita will also return to the Broadway production from 6 September 2016, reprising her role as Mrs. Wormwood.

The current principal cast includes Ava Briglia, Aviva Winick and Willow McCarthy (sharing the role of Matilda), Bryce Ryness (Miss Trunchbull), Allison Case (Miss Honey), Rick Holmes (Mr. Wormwood), Amy Spanger (Mrs. Wormwood) and Natalie Venetia Belcon (Mrs. Phelps).

Matilda the Musical officially opened at the Shubert Theatre on 11 April 2013, following previews from 4 March, and will close on 1 January 2017. Upon closing, the show will have played 37 previews and 1,555 regular performances.

The musical opened on Broadway to excellent reviews: Even more glorious than we were promised (NY Times); Glorious Matilda has it all (NY Post); Another blockbuster (NY1); Dazzlingly inventive musical (Hollywood Reporter).

Matilda the Musical features a book by Dennis Kelly, with music & lyrics by Tim Minchin, and is directed by Tony Award-winner Matthew Warchus, with choreography by Peter Darling.

Synopsis: "Matilda the Musical tells the story of a very bright and rebellious little girl, with special powers. Matilda's parents, Mr and Mrs Wormwood, have no time for her and treat her as a nuisance. She spends most of her time reading books from the library astonishingly quickly, whilst they watch the telly and Mr Wormwood sells dodgy used cars. At school things are no better as despite the care and support of her teacher, the lovely Miss Honey, Matilda has to contend with the terrifying headmistress Miss Trunchbull who rules the school with cruelty and fear. Matilda fights against the injustices at home and at school. Eventually she decides the grown-ups should be taught a lesson and in the process discovers her supernatural powers."

The musical received four Tony Awards, and a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theater for each of the four girls who originated the title role.

Matilda the Musical features scenic design by Rob Howell, orchestrations, additional music and musical supervision by Christopher Nightingale, lighting design by Hugh Vanstone, sound design by Simon Baker and special effects and illusions by Paul Kieve.

The show is being produced on Broadway by The Royal Shakespeare Company and New York's Dodger Properties.

Jennifer Blood has previously played the role of Miss Honey on the National Tour of 'Matilda.' Her Broadway credits include 'Violet' and 'A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder.'

John Sanders originated the roles of The Party Entertainer and Sergei in 'Matilda' on Broadway and also appeared in 'Peter and the Starcatcher' on the Great White Way.

Lesli Margherita was last seen on Broadway as Mona Kent in the 2015 production of 'Dames at Sea.' She also won an Olivier Award in 2009 for her performance as Inez in the West End production of 'Zorro The Musical.'

- by Tom Millward

Jennifer BloodJohn Sanders

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