Matilda the Musical - International Tour
“Matthew Rowland and Emily Squibb, who play Matilda's repugnant parents, are a delight throughout, receiving some of the loudest cheers from the crowd."
The National News
Nativity the Musical - Birmingham Rep
“Matthew Rowland has enormous fun as posh headmaster Gordon Shakespeare, playing him as the sneering egotistical lovechild of Rik Mayall and Alan Rickman – not to mention revelling in a number channelling his inner Alice Cooper.”
"The villain of the piece comes in the shape of former friend and now rival school play producer Mr Shakespeare who works at the super-posh Oakmoor School. Matthew Rowland is like a pantomime baddie he is so mean - and he also gives a great performance as a glam rock King Herod."
"Mr Maddens...finds himself caught up in a snowballing lie when he tells his private school nemesis Mr Shakespeare (a gloriously over-the-top Matthew Rowland) that a Hollywood producer is coming to see their nativity play. "
"Of course, it wouldn’t be a real story without a villain. Mr. Shakespeare is a wonderfully interactive character and is fantastically executed by Matthew Rowland."
West End Best Friend
"The standout performance of the show was Gordon Shakespeare, played by Matthew Rowland. Every movement he made was filled with the intensity and flamboyance of a pantomime villain, except he also had an outstanding singing voice and the dance moves of a Strictly professional. "
"There was one performance that took my breath away. While Jason Watkins in the film portrays Gordon Shakespeare with a nuanced undertone of jealousy, Matthew Rowland has the time of his life bringing a flamboyant villain to the stage. Stealing every scene he’s in, Rowland is an unstoppable force of nature, clearly revelling in playing such a deliciously self-centred role. He thrums with manic energy as he plots and schemes to become the star of the show, hell-bent on outperforming against his peers."
"Matthew Rowland’s Gordon Shakespeare is pure stage camp, with a stage presence that fills the entire stage and beyond, elevating a character that risks becoming as one-dimensional as a gingerbread man to a genuinely brilliant villain."
All That Dazzles
"The small cast merges together with animation and flare, with a high-quality cast from the dominating headteacher of a rival school Oakmoor, Mr Shakespeare (Matthew Rowland). Rowland was easily the best individual I have seen in this role and naturally funny."
Theatre and Tonic
"His rival Mr Shakespeare is played by Matthew Rowland, who you just love to hate."
"Matthew Rowland is hilariously funny as Mr Shakespeare, who is almost a perfect pantomime style baddy, I loved his over the top rendition of ‘Herod the Rock Opera’ which is frankly hilarious and terrifying in equal measure."
"Rowland does an excellent job portraying the typical villain for the audience to frown upon."
The Reviews Hub
"Matthew Rowland as Mr Shakespeare was bloody brilliant. There’s no words to explain our reaction to seeing him come out for his rival performance of ‘King Herod the rock musical’ – everyone loves a good villain and he played the part with gusto, Never faltering until eventually he got shut in a box with some rapturous boos from the audience."
The Amazing Adventures of Me Blog
School of Rock - UK & Ireland Tour
“Matthew Rowland’s quirky and brilliantly exuberant ‘Ned’ mixed with Nadia Violet Johnson’s vicious and cleverly manipulative Patty, the pair give the perfect catalyst for that love-hate relationship.”
"Matthew Rowland is equally charismatic as the real Ned Schneebly, bending to the iron will of his fiancee Patty (Nadia Violet Johnson in her West End debut) while one hand reaches for the guitar he has stashed behind the sofa."
"Matthew Rowland earns many a laugh as rock musician turned nerd Ned Schneebly, constantly trying to stay on the good side of both Dewey and Patty"
"There’s plenty of physical comedy that the kids in the audience will love (a memorable moment is Dewey and Ned – superbly played by Matthew Rowland – indulging in a synchronised game of Guitar Hero)."
"Matthew Rowland is great as supportive yet under the thumb pal Ned Schneebly, his relationship with Nadia Violet Johnson as Patty Di Marco is an interesting one as Rowland releases his own inner rocker when around Finn."
Beyond the Curtain
In Profile with Matthew Rowland
“Matthew Rowland may not have been part of the professional theatre scene for very long, but his career has gotten off to a flying start and he has achieved much in such a short space of time. This highly talented performer is certainly a name to look out for, and now he’s made it to the West End, theatre fans can only hope he will be a familiar face there for many more years to come.”
The Confession Room - Crazy Coqs
“Looney was also blessed with two of the evening’s stellar performers. Seasoned young star Matthew Rowland served his Excalibur 93 number very well, whilst Mollie Melia-Redgrave was a stunning Ditsy Blonde.”
Putting It Together - St James Theatre
“What a party, what a night. Matthew Rowland’s choreography is every bit as subtle as Alastair Knights’s direction.”
If it only even runs a minute - Hippodrome
“Matthew Rowland’s “Let Me Walk Among You” from Bat Boy: The Musical is so emotional and delivered with such passion that it leaves barely a dry eye in the house. His performance is the best by miles.”
The Public Reviews
The Confession Room Concept Album
“Matthew Rowland as Frank singing the aforementioned 'Excalibur93' is most definitely a highlight on the recording along with 'Second Chances' by Alex Gaumond as Tony - talk about saving the best till last!”
Darling of the Day - Union Theatre
“further support is provided by a lively cor-blimey chorus led by Matthew Rowland’s Alf, whose highlight is the big number Not On Your Nellie.”
“Mention too for Matthew Rowland, who this reviewer saw only recently as Boy George in Taboo. The lad only has a modest supporting role, but his talent and presence are outstanding. Recently graduated, this remarkable young man is one to watch and he adds another dimension of quality to the show.”
What's Hecuba To Him?
Taboo - Brixton Club House
Nomination for Best Leading Actor In A Musical
Broadway World UK Awards
“The star of the show is, rightly, George (Matthew Rowland, who has real poise and real cheekbones),whom we first encounter draped in a white sheet, sporting a silver centurion helmet with white feathers pluming out abundantly.”
London Evening Standard
“The standout performance of the whole evening however is Matthew Rowland. What a professional debut! As Boy George, Rowland is spectacular. He embodies the star right down to the last detail and the audience lives through the whole story with him, from the high points of his career to the low points of drug-fuelled rage and heartbreak. I cannot fault his performance.”
“Matthew Rowland quite simply IS Boy George. Making his professional debut, Rowland evokes the singer’s immediately recognisable look, style and affectation. He charts George’s rise to fame and drug fuelled collapse in a tour de force performance. For those old enough to remember the 80s, to look at Rowland is to step back in time.”
The Public Reviews
“Another new talent was Matthew Rowland, who is fresh from his training at The Arts Educational School. Rowland is the young Boy George whose career the show follows. The role of Boy George, if not careful, can quickly turn into a parody. But Rowland, who wasn’t even born when Culture Club came into prominence, was careful in keeping the integrity of Boy George in tact. The nuances that have become synonymous with the real Boy George were finely tuned so it felt like being transported back to 1981 rather than watching a cheap imitation in 2012.”
“It's a dark tale, loosely set around the infamous and dangerous Taboo Club, in which debutant Matthew Rowland beautifully and tragically plays what comes across as a courageous, fragile and surprisingly aggressive young George O'Dowd.”
“Matthew Rowland is spot on as Boy George who, he asserts, needs to be a star because he can’t be a man.”
BatBoy - ArtsEd Final Show
“As expected, my trip to Arts Ed to see Bat Boy, the follow up to the much raved (and officially reviewed) The Sweet Smell of Success was an utter joy. The soon to be graduates are already putting in knock out performances, particularly Alison Pope and Matthew Rowland.”
The Stage Blogs Grads Club