by Richard Buckley, Editor, Business Eye

The ‘Revoltingly’ talented young people from the Belfast School of Performing Arts were recently chosen from a collection of 33 drama schools from all across Europe to launch the much anticipated, Junior stage production of Roald Dahl’s, Matilda The Musical for MTI Shows. The exceptionally talented performing arts students came together to create two specially created videos which were used to mark the official launch of the stage show at the MTI Europe Festival.

In true form the students produced an impressive, lively, fun and passion fuelled showcase and were the highlight of the ‘Matilda Takeover’ element of the festival.

Hot on the heels of this successful launch, BSPA are now delighted to announce that they will be hosting the Irish Premiere for Matilda Jr as part of their series of Summer Youth Projects. Peter Corry, Artistic Director, Producer and renowned singer and performer explains;

“To get the opportunity to direct this incredible show is fantastic and to do it after the year we have all been through is something very special indeed. BSPA will be staging the production in an outdoor venueand in front of a live audience, something I know so many of us have missed desperately! I am confident it will be an experience that those who take part will never forget.

“There is a very important underlying message which is apparent through out this show and I think that now it is more important than ever, ‘Be Strong, Be Brave, Be You’, we’ll be using this as our mantra for the Summer Project, after the last year or so I think we could all take something from that statement.

“We got a real taste for the show when were invited to produce these two amazing videos for MTI, both of which showcased at the MTI Junior Theatre Festival. The young people performed both ‘When I grow up’ and ‘ Revolting Children’ and I think when you watch the videos you will see the joy and passion shine through, it will give you a little insight into the huge amount of talent and fun to expect from our Summer Youth Project.”

The MTI Junior Theatre Festival is a key date in the musical theatre world and this time, the show went online. The event, which every year brings together schools and youth groups from the across the UK and Europe, was enjoyed by 850 performing arts, teachers, creatives and students who came together to celebrate, educate, motivate and participate in all-things musical theatre.

The Summer Youth project delivered by BSPA, will take place at The Scout Centre at Crawfordsburn and Breda Academy, Belfast, allowing for the full production, with an audience, along with rehearsals, to take place outside whilst following all the current Covid-19 guidelines.

Managing Director, Tina McVeigh is excited about what lies ahead for the students;

“We are excited about this event and whatever the weather, this incredible sheltered outdoor venue will make sure our audience and cast are safe and that we can deliver the show whatever the restrictions may be at that time.

“Our young people have had such a tough time and I am so looking forward to seeing them come together to put on an actual show with a real live audience, it’s been a long time coming for them and I am confident the experience will be the confidence and mental wellbeing boost a lot of them will need.

“They are bursting to get back on stage and to see the faces of their friends and family enjoy the show from the audience. We want to see both members and non-members enjoy the project and we hope it will help them feel brave and strong and ready to take on the world.

“Being involved in youth theatre group isn’t all about ending up with a career on the stage, it’s about learning to interact with others, to understand the world around us, to learn how to be confident and speak up in any situation. It’s also about making friends and being together, after more than a year of uncertainty and hardship, this is where the focus of BSPA will remain for the future – building strong and confident young people.”

Charlotte Prentice, aged 11, took part in the video launch and also plans on taking part in the Summer Youth Project; she says;

“Taking part in the Matilda music videos was a fab experience, I loved being able to sing, act and dance with my friends again, it made me feel like me again, I was very happy. It’s the one thing I have missed doing most of all. I can’t wait until the summer project when we can put on a show and I can actually see my family in the audience watching us – it will be so much fun!”

BSPA’s Summer Youth Project will take place from the 28th July – 21st August and is open to both BSPA and non BSPA students aged 8-18.



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