Isabella’s delight as her work hits the West End stage

Isabella Thomas with Melanie La Barrie (Mrs Phelps). Photo by Manuel Harlan.
Isabella Thomas with Melanie La Barrie (Mrs Phelps). Photo by Manuel Harlan.

After seeing Matilda the Musical three times, some people might find a fourth showing to be a bit of an anticlimax.

Yet there was no danger of that with Isabella Thomas, eight, as she was about to see her own writing brought to life by the cast.

As one of eight winners of a national writing competition, Isabella got to take her family and classmates from St Mary’s Primary School, Horsham, to see the show.

“It went really well,” she said. “I said to my teacher: ‘Is this real?’

“Then he pinched me.

“All the other scenes were really good as well.”

Afterwards, the winning writers got to join the cast on stage at London’s Cambridge Theatre, and receive their ‘Maggot’ medals.

With the competition open to young people up until their early teens, Isabella was noticeably younger any of the other winners.

However, one of the show’s directors said she was a natural on stage, and should come back for auditions.

Isabella’s mum Emma said: “The whole class loved it, even the boys who didn’t think it was their thing.

“It couldn’t have gone better - it was a proper once in a lifetime day for her.

“Then, in the coach on the way home, she literally fell asleep with a smile on her face.”

The Royal Shakespeare Company ran the competition to mark the launch of Write Here Write Now with Matilda - an interactive website which aims to inspire children to become creative writers, imaginative playwrights and avid readers.

On the website are filmed interviews with the show’s writer Dennis Kelly, and with lyricist Tim Minchin, together with comprehensive teacher notes for use in the classroom.

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