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Jigsaw Student Imogen Cole Plays Matilda In West End Show

Playing Matilda

We are beyond proud of our Jigsaw Balham student Imogen who has been playing Matilda in ‘Matilda the Musical’ since September 2021. 

‘Matilda the Musical’ is based on the 1988 children’s novel by Roald Dahl. It was adapted for stage by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by the wonderful Tim Minchin. The show opened in Stratford-Upon-Avon in 2010 and transferred to the West End in 2011.

The show has won over 90 international awards and celebrated its 10 year anniversary in the UK last year. Jigsaw Balham student Imogen performed in the special anniversary performance in front of lots of previous Matilda’s and celebrities!



Imogen Cole performs at the ‘Matilda the Musical’ 10 year anniversary.


We caught up with Jigsaw Balham Student Imogen Cole to find out more about her West End Experience Playing Matilda.


What was it like to audition for a West End musical?

“It was a mixture of emotions. It’s quite exciting, but very nerve racking. There were quite a few people in the very first audition, so I had to keep focused and keep my head held high. In my first audition, I had to sing a song acapella (with no music) and present a monologue to the directors. The next few auditions involved me learning different bits from the musical. Once I got the part, I had to make lots of sacrifices for the rehearsals, but it was worth it!”


How did you feel when you were told you got the part?

“Overjoyed! It is the best feeling in the world to feel like you’re perfect for a part!”


What is your favourite part of the show?

“Definitely the beginning of the show. The excitement and energy builds, and when I first step onto the stage, it feels like it’s my opening night all over again.”


What is your favourite song in the show?

‘Quiet’- In most shows, they normally have an energetic and upbeat song at that point in the story, but in ‘Matilda the Musical’ we have a number called ‘Quiet’. It is about Matilda feeling angry because of all of the horrible things that have happened in her life. She tries to tell the audience, but she just can’t, she can’t find the right words. In the middle of the number, the music stops and everything goes quiet, it feels like time freezes.”


What has been your favourite moment whilst being part of the show?

The tenth anniversary, the audience were going crazy! All of the Matilda’s and Bruce’s of the past ten years were in the audience.”


How do you think Jigsaw has helped you?

“I couldn’t have achieved any of this without Jigsaw! I started going to Jigsaw when I was 8, and my parents had just sent off the application for me to audition for the role of Matilda. The Jigsaw team taught me the skills and gave me the confidence that I needed for the auditions. Jigsaw has helped me collaborate with people and helped me to understand how useful feedback is to improving your performance.”


How do you do school and the show?

It’s quite tough trying to balance school and the show at the same time. I only do 2 or 3 shows a week, but I have to go into the theatre on some days when I’m not performing (as a standby), so that doesn’t leave a lot of time for school. But I manage to keep up with school work, and I get a lot of support from my parents, friends, and teachers.”


What do you do like to do when you’re not performing?

I do like to keep myself busy. I do ballet and I like to write stories as well. In my free time, I catch up with my school work, but I make sure I get time to relax too.”


Describe your Matilda experience in 3 words!

The best experience!”


What advice would you give to someone looking to get into the professional world?

“Be yourself! Don’t be afraid to show off your talent. As soon as an opportunity comes, take it. You have got to remember, you are brilliant! “



Imogen Cole as Matilda with Carly Thoms playing Miss Honey in ‘Matilda the Musical’.


We are delighted that Imogen is loving every moment of this amazing experience. She finishes in early April and is looking forward to returning to Jigsaw Balham on a Saturday morning. 


If you are interested in finding out more about working professionally, visit our Jigsaw Arts Management webpage here or get in touch with Emily by email agency@jigsaw-arts.co.uk or social media @jigsawartsmanagement.