Actor David Leonard will make his Royal Shakespeare Company debut by stepping into Bertie Carvel’s award-winning shoes this summer.
The performer, a regular villain in the York Theatre Royal pantomime, faces the daunting task of replacing Carvel as child-tormenting former-hammer-throwing headmistress the Trunchbull in the RSC’s multi-award-winning production Matilda The Musical from 3 July.
London stage regular Annette McLaughlin, last seen in the RSC’s Written On The Heart, will also join the child-launching, chocolate cake-demolishing show this summer, taking over from Josie Walker as Mrs Wormwood on 21 August.
The pair joins a production that made history earlier this year when it won more Olivier Awards than any other show in the history of the illustrious prize-giving. The seven statuettes included wins for Best New Musical, Best Director and Best Actress in a Musical for the four Matildas, who became the youngest ever recipients of the prestigious award.
Matilda The Musical, which also stars Haley Flaherty and Steve Furst, is a musical stage adaptation of Roald Dahl’s much loved book about a young girl with a passion for reading and a very special gift, whose parents barely acknowledge her existence. When she is wronged, however, she takes it upon herself to teach people a lesson.
The story was adapted for the stage by the team of Australian comedian and musician Tim Minchin and playwright Dennis Kelly, opening in Stratford-upon-Avon in November 2010 and transferring to London’s Cambridge theatre in October last year.
Matilda The Musical is taking part in FREE festival West End LIVE on 23 and 24 June.