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and the awesome fairies Linzy and Shell.

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Hi all. As some of you may have heard, our lovely wee musical, Matilda, is being postponed by a week so we can make sure that when it does open, it is fully functional, safe, and generally totally excellent.

This is not an uncommon occurrence in shows of this size (Spiderman anyone?), but it is very disappointing for those who had tickets for the cancelled shows. I know the affected group will include a lot of people who frequent this website, because you are the people who always come to everything first! It is for that reason a huge pity.

Here is a statement from the RSC:

The RSC has today announced that the first five previews of Matilda The Musical will no longer take place. The production will now play at the Cambridge Theatre from Tuesday 25 October and opening night will be held on Thursday 24 November.

The structural work and extensive installation required for the show has taken longer than planned and it is with regret that the Company has had to take the decision to delay the cast’s move from the rehearsal rooms to the stage.

People who have booked for the cancelled preview performances are being contacted directly by the RSC and their ticketing partners, and alternative performance dates offered.

André Ptaszynski, Executive Producer, Matilda The Musical, said:
“Every musical theatre production of this scale goes through similar challenges during this pre-opening period, but Matilda has a cast made up of three different teams of young actors and four young actresses in the title role. This means that, unlike other shows, we cannot extend everyone’s working hours, take shortcuts and reduce the number of dress rehearsals to meet the date of the first preview. We are very sorry for the inconvenience caused to people who had booked for these early performances and we are working hard to ensure that the re-booking or refunding process is as quick and as easy as possible.”
www.matildathemusical.com

André’s quote is most pertinent: the RSC would – in other circumstances – have pulled out all stops to accelerate the “tech-run” period of rehearsals. But every time we make a change – even if it’s just adjusting a dance step or moving a piece of scenery – it has to be rehearsed by three teams of actors… It actually comes down to genuine concerns about safety, as well as a desire to make sure the show is as good as it can be. This show may well run for a considerable time, and it would be short-sighted to cut corners. Be assured that a great deal of negotiation and soul-searching has gone into this very tough decision.

To those who are booked to come during what was the first week, I dearly hope you can find a time to come back and see it… and that you won’t be too cross with us!

Love
Tim

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29 Comments

Catherine on 18th of October 2011

hm.. just wondering wether tim will be waiting outside the stage door for some meet and greets? ;)

girl on 17th of October 2011

hi im a12 yr girl and i think ur awsome:] :]

rather peeved on 30th of September 2011

whilst I understand the safety issues, I’ve been left less than happy with the way in which the re-booking of tickets has been left, we now have to wait for a letter from the rsc before we can exchange our tickets, meanwhile, tickets are still on sale for the shows which we will have to rebook for, thus leaving us with less availability – surely it wouldn’t have been that difficult to allow us to rebook (using our booking ref) as soon as the cancellations were made known (being as I am fairly pregnant and have to travel 85 miles, my availability is even more restricted). I am also now left with a hotel booking and pre booked train tickets which I no longer need and which the rsc have informed me they cannot compensate for ‘as is standard industry wide’. – Doesn’t help me though does it?

aly on 29th of September 2011

oh pooooooo…not very intelligent comment I know but reflects my feelings. Oh well hopefully I can rebook my tickets and all will be safe, sound and happy when I see it. I will rise above the dissapointment – eventually.

Juliet on 29th of September 2011

Completely respect the brave decision to cancel the first week. The disappointment at making the call must have been very stressful. Loyal fans know how good it is and completely understand the complexity with the transition. Tell the kids to keep smiling, we love them. My kids have been singing along with the superb cd recording and loving the lyrics! I had first night tickets and had been looking forward to it since leaving the performance at Stratford. Keep polishing. Xxx

Suze on 29th of September 2011

I run a voluntary kids choir so I know how much hard work goes into getting it all perfect with them – and how important Health & Safety is. Nobody would forgive themselves for cutting corners and one of the cast gets hurt, so everyone should appreciate this decision as the right one. Plus the opening night is now on my birthday so here’s hoping somebody buys me a ticket. Good luck to everyone involved!! lots of love, Suze xx

Jock on 29th of September 2011

we saw it in stratford, it was great, and the set was terrific too, I can appreciate that it would take a fair bit of care to get right

Lou on 29th of September 2011

I can only echo what the others have said and agree that safety must come first. I can’t pretend that I’m not disappointed to be missing out on the first preview though (selfish me!). Will definitely still be coming to see the show. X

Emma on 29th of September 2011

of course no-one will be cross with you x

moozikteacher on 29th of September 2011

With a cast full of children it’s always better safe than sorry. You made the right call! Sorry for those that had the early tickets!

ps PLEASE bring to the show to the US (LA area!!) I want to see!

Elaine (elainepixie) on 29th of September 2011

Very sad to miss out on the excitement of the first performance, but totally understand. Hoping to get tickets for another night. Best wishes to all involved.

Stephanie D on 29th of September 2011

What a pity but a wise and sensible decision. I can say this from the safety (fingers crossed) of having tickets for the 28th October. Wishing you and the team all the best in getting the show up and running in the meantime.

Critchy on 29th of September 2011

Better to have the show exactly the way you intended sweetpea. Logistics on this sort of scale should never be compromised. Nor should working conditions for cast and crew. I sense an enormous success in the offing, and this minor glitch will not sully your extraordinary commitment and talent. X

Andy on 29th of September 2011

More significant than small to some of us… :-(
Time to go and watch Pale Blue Dot and get some perspective, methinks…

Linzy on 29th of September 2011

The only people this affects are the people with tickets to the first five shows, as they’re the ones that have been cancelled. If you’ve got tickets to a show after the 24th October, then you should be fine.

ken campbell on 29th of September 2011

so does this mean my tickets for the 4th November are OK or not? `

mzlondon on 29th of September 2011

I totally understand that this will have been a difficult and necessary decision, and also very much appreciate you acknowledging that there’ll be a lot of us who are very disappointed. You’re a gent. We’ll still see it, I’m sure, but from my own purely selfish point of view I’m gutted I now can’t be there for the very first West End performance (stupid work commitments)… there’s only ever one first, after all. But still, I wish you and all involved a fantastic first!

Emer on 29th of September 2011

same thing happened at Love Never Dies, happens to all the greats!! never mind

Ian Gledhill on 29th of September 2011

Having done a little stage acting it’s to be expected to have last minute changes, good on you for giving plenty of notice to ticket holdrs

michelle kirwan on 29th of September 2011

practice always makes perfect..but somehow it will be rabbit out of the hat?..the way thing some how things! pull together.!l”short interlude ..until short story?..first?…bare foot,,an all..regards “vertically challenged”

michelle kirwan on 29th of September 2011

practice always makes perfect..but somehow it will be rabbit out of the hat?..the way thing some how things! pull together.!l”short interlude ..until short strorie?..first?…bare foot,,an all..regards “vertically challenged”

Claire on 29th of September 2011

It’s a shame that it has to be postponed, but hopefully this means the audience won’t have cables falling from the ceiling like we had at Tim Minchin’s Greenwich show!

panda on 29th of September 2011

I just want to *like* pinsing dingaling’s post about bringing it to Melbourne. Thanks!

Rob on 29th of September 2011

See what happens when you criticise the Saudi religious leaders. Don’t even mention aborigines.

Katie on 29th of September 2011

I agree that it is better to wait till everyone feels comfortable and the SM isn’t running on every 5 minutes – buuuuuuuuuuuut I am miserable at the same time.

X

Daniel Whitley on 29th of September 2011

It’s a shame, though much better than the two first previews I’ve tried to attend in the past. Flashdance pulled their first preview at 4pm on the day of performance, while Love Never Dies didn’t seem to know what they were doing. Like everyone else has said, safety must come first – consequences could be much worse if short cuts were made with a production of this style.

And hey, means there’s an extra week of rehearsals to polish things before technical begins…

pinsing dingaling on 29th of September 2011

ethel merman would have gone on…

having said that, have a brilliant and successful run and PLEASE bring the show to melbourne, australia

Emma on 29th of September 2011

When you book for previews it’s a risk you take – just as when you go to opera previews the singers might only ghost. People acknowledge this. I’d much rather see safety and polish first. Brave move.

Spirit Feeter on 29th of September 2011

Thank goodness there’s still some sense left in the world, much better to postpone rather than rush in and it all go pear-shaped. Well done for taking the brave option. Loyal Feeters will rise above the disappoinment and wait, I’m sure. x

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