More than 800 people came to watch five sell-out shows of a musical staged by an inclusive theatre company in Droitwich.

Lollipop Youth Theatre's production of 'Matilda the Musical Jr' even had to add in an extra date to meet demand.

Some 85 young people in the cast performed five shows at the Norbury Theatre, Droitwich, to an audience of 880 people.

Lollipop is an inclusive theatre company for young people aged five to 19, based in Worcester. The cast who attend primary and high schools across Worcestershire, have been rehearsing each week since January, to learn the dances, songs and acting.

Caitlin Evans, age 12, has just started at Bishop Perowne High School and played the lead role of Matilda Wormwood.

She said: ‘I’ve been part of Lollipop Youth Theatre for over a year now. When I first joined, I felt too nervous to perform on my own, but my confidence has grown over the months.

"When I auditioned for Matilda and got the title role, it was a dream come true. I’m at my happiest when I’m on stage, singing, dancing and acting."

Ellen Fearnley, age 18, played the lead role of Miss Trunchbull.

She said: "Playing Trunchbull has been one of my top experiences in theatre. This is my last show with Lollipop, as I’ve just started studying performing arts at the University of Gloucestershire. "If ever there was a part to go out on, it is her, as she’s such a strong character, but also a challenge for me.

"I feel all the roles I’ve had with Lollipop will enhance my studies. I’m proud to say I’m an original Lollipop member, having joined seven years ago, when it started with just 10 members."

The ethos of Lollipop Youth Theatre is ‘Every Child Can Shine’. Around half of members are coping with additional needs, such as autism, ADHD and anxieties. The Lollipop production team are all volunteers experienced in musical theatre.

Holly Fields, founder and show director, said: “We encourage our members to build their confidence, self-esteem, and self-belief through regular workshops, performance and social activities. The after show disco and party are always popular.

"During the year, we build in lots of performance practice opportunities, such as joining in with the Worcester Carnival and Show and at the Victorian Christmas Fayre.

"It is so satisfying to see our young people blossom over time to become confident performers, and even take on lead roles.

"We stage two shows a year and were thrilled to return to The Norbury Theatre for Matilda The Musical Jr. There was so much to pull together but we knew it would be popular, because of the new film, the soundtrack and it’s such a fantastic story to tell.”

Lollipop Youth Theatre's 2024 show will be High School Musical, taking place Thursday July 25, 2024 - Saturday July 27, 2024 at the Norbury Theatre.

Tickets are available from

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