The production will now begin previews on 25 October, with the press night moved from 22 November to 24 November 2011.
According to a press release, “The structural work and extensive installation required for the show has taken longer than planned and it is with regret that the Company has had to take the decision to delay the cast’s move from the rehearsal rooms to the stage.”
People who have booked for the cancelled preview performances will be contacted directly by the RSC and its ticketing partners and alternative performance dates offered.
André Ptaszynski, executive producer of Matilda, said: “Every musical theatre production of this scale goes through similar challenges during this pre-opening period, but Matilda has a cast made up of three different teams of young actors and four young actresses in the title role. This means that, unlike other shows, we cannot extend everyone’s working hours, take shortcuts and reduce the number of dress rehearsals to meet the date of the first preview.
“We are very sorry for the inconvenience caused to people who had booked for these early performances and we are working hard to ensure that the re-booking or refunding process is as quick and as easy as possible.”
Adapted from Roald Dahl’s 1988 novel, with music and lyrics by Australian comic Tim Minchin and a book by Dennis Kelly, Matilda played a sell-out Christmas season from 9 December 2010 (previews from 9 November) to 30 January 2011 at the RSC's temporary Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Matilda is directed by Matthew Warchus, designed by Rob Howell with choreography by Peter Darling, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, musical supervision and orchestration by Christopher Nightingale and sound by Simon Baker. Special effects and illusions are by Paul Kieve.