Matilda: A Fascinating Musical on Hoda Shaarawy Theater

“You should change your own story
Nobody can change it except you”

The curtains were opened with the school boys and girls singing these words. With their young enthusiastic voices, the kids could highlight the main theme of their musical play “Locked in a Story,” a musical based on “Matilda” by the British writer Roald Dahl.

The musical tells the story of Matilda, the little girl who was born in a frustrating situation: a greedy father who hates girls and only loves his son and her mother, an actress who only cares about herself and career. They both discourages Matilda to think, imagine, read, or tell stories. When Matilda joins school, she is confronted with the school principal who suppresses the students and blocks their creativity. At the end, Matilda was able to free herself from her family and school chains through reading, which enlightened her mind and sparkled her imagination with the help of Ms. Jenny, who was also locked in her own story and afraid of freedom.

Heba Abdel Razek played the role of Ms. Gihan, the school teacher
Ahmed Mokhtar and Nourhan El Naggar played the roles of Matilda’s parents


Dorothea Walter mastered the role of the school principal

Harmony was the main feature that distinguished Matilda and greatly contributed to its success. All the songs, lights, movements, background setting and animation were employed in an inspiring harmony to produce a remarkable play that was greatly admired by the audience.

Effat Yehia, Matilda’s Director

In addition, the harmony between the cast members was notable although they were brought together from different communities. The cast combined Heliopolis University students and staff members, visiting volunteering professional actors, and children of “Young Scholars of Egypt”. The full cast can be viewed here.

The play was Egyptianized and directed by the professional Dr. Effat Yehia who currently works for Heliopolis University Core Program. Dr. Yehia is a professional theater director. She won the best rising director award in 2007. She is one of the founders of the independent theater in Egypt in the nineties and the writer of the book for one act plays “Chaos of Emotions” in 2008. The play was produced by Heliopolis University and sponsored by “Young Scholars” and “The Caravan Independent Theater Group.