TNS’s annual school play, (and our first musical!) was based on Roald Dahl’s timeless classic, ‘Matilda’.
After a twelve-week trial run staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) at Stratford-upon-Avon from November 2010 to January 2011, Matilda, adapted as a stage musical by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by the extremely witty, Tim Minchin, received its West End premiere on 24 November 2011 at the Cambridge Theatre and its Broadway premiere on 11 April 2013 at the Shubert Theatre.
According to the official website: “The musical\\\'s narrative centers on Matilda, a precocious 5-year-old girl who loves reading, overcomes obstacles caused by her family and school, and helps her teacher reclaim her life.”
Here at TNS, ‘Matilda’ was about a culture of education that still exists in Pakistan, where outdated school practices set in stone, govern learning across our nation. In my training as a music teacher at TNS, I have been taught repeatedly the importance of differentiated learning and how essential it is to a well-rounded education.
Different children have different ways of approaching their learning, and different levels of abilities and it’s these differences that are at the essence of collaboration. In fact that’s exactly what happened during production; different children with different sets of skills came together for a single goal and achieved it with courage, hard work, self-belief, learning to respect each other’s quirks, being committed to a goal larger than just them, and being creative thinkers.
Of course, none of this would have been possible without the guidance of our specialist teachers: Ms. Aisha Qaiser, Ms. Ayesha Azam, Ms. Nadia Ghawas and Mr. Ahmed Faizan, in charge of our wonderful sets. I saw how much time and effort they put in to this play and it was inspiring to see such a committed team. There was the very competent Ms. Sara Jafri who arranged all our props and was also an integral part of the general aesthetic of the play. Mr. Qasim Jaffer on sound, made sure everything was in order and was also a pleasant person to have around during rehearsals. Mr. Mohsin---- who swooped in at the last minute and taught our talented youngsters excellent managerial skills and critical thinking to make use of a small space (especially with about 9 set changes!); Ms. Maha Noor, who in a matter of days, taught the students of Year 5, how to construct a lighting arrangement for the play. And finally I’d like to thank all the coordinators, Mr. Muhammad Rashid, Ms. Asma Amanat, Ms. Zahra Bokhari & Ms. Maleha Barry for their endless support.
When Mrs. Ayesha Kasuri and Mr. Clive Barnes came up with the idea of staging ‘Matilda’ the musical, I was hesitant at first--however it was under their continued support and care that we were able to pull off this large, rather fabulous production.
And last but certainly not the least, we would like to thank our sponsors Häagen-Dazs for sponsoring us.
Kudos Team TNS!!!