We have been so lucky to catch up with Matilda Hopkins and find out what it takes to be a West End Star! Matilda has appeared as Young Eponine in the West End production of Les Miserables, Pandora in Adrian Mole, Brigatta in The Sound of Music and Annie to name a few…
Photo Credit: Pamela Raith – The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole

I was born on the 30th June 2005 which makes my star sign cancer! I live with my Mum, Dad, older brother and 2 cats called Milo and Ruby. Other than performing I like horse riding but I can’t do it as much as I would like to, as it takes up a lot of time. I started training seriously at the age of 11 but beforehand I went to my local theatre group and did a production of Annie, it was then that I fell in love with musical theatre. 

I never really knew that the West End or Broadway existed until I did my first West End show of Les Miserables, but then I knew I wanted to do this for the rest of my life. You have to be very committed, work hard, be prepared for disappointments and also be able to handle criticism, but the feeling when you are on stage, it’s hard to describe… it’s the best feeling in the world! 

"...the feeling when you are on stage, it's hard to describe..."

My favourite show to perform in was probably Adrian Mole as the cast was mainly children so I made some great friends and we had lots of laughs. I played Pandora and I really felt like the character had such a good message and story to tell; she also stood up for all the girls and I love a bit of Girl Power!!!

Of course for every show there is a lot of preparation. Rehearsal periods vary for different productions, the least I’ve had is 2 weeks and the most I’ve had is about 6 weeks, it’s really important that on opening night you feel confident and ready to take the stage. 

Photo Credit: A P Wilding

Juggling school with performing can be really difficult and I often get asked how I cope. I don’t really cope!! It’s hard but I just try to keep on top of things and do most of my work whilst travelling to the theatre. I miss a lot of school which I’m not really complaining about!!! It’s much easier when you are on a touring production as we have a tutor that makes sure we do all of our work. 

Yes, I still get nervous 100%! I’ve become more nervous the older I’ve got which might sound weird as I’m obviously gaining more experience, but now I understand how much time, money and effort goes into a West End show so I feel semi responsible for how the show goes.

Although it’s lots of work we try and have as much fun as possible; for example in Adrian Mole we had school note books and each show we would write funny notes to each other and try not to laugh onstage. Also in Sound of Music from singing so much loads of people would get the hiccups and it would always happen in the saddest scene. It was really hard to keep a straight face!

Photo Credit: Pamela Raith – The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole

The best thing about performing in my opinion is getting to tell a story to thousands of people and seeing how each person interprets the story differently and the emotion on their faces. There are some downsides, not many, but when things go wrong, it can be funny but sometimes it can ruin the whole performance which really effects everybody. Also the late nights and then waking up early to go to school isn’t much fun! 

I obviously love performing and I’ve had so many fantastic experiences, but in the future I’d love to be a director!

Lots of Love,

Matilda xoxo


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