Thursday, 17 May 2012

Review: Matilda The Musical

by Bea Wilkinson
Image source: Daily Telegraph

In October, I went to see the then newly opened ‘‘Matilda: The Musical’’ at the Cambridge Theatre, in London. Since it was one of my favourite books as a child, I was unsure of the idea of ‘‘Matilda’’ being turned into a piece of musical theatre. It was hard to imagine a show capturing the spirit of Roald Dahl’s writing. However, as soon as I sat down in my seat and took in the set, colourful and dynamic, all doubts dissolved.
The classic story of Matilda’ – the child genius unwanted by her hateful, TV obsessed parents - is portrayed on stage with an added vibrancy which made the whole experience well worth it and highly recommendable.

The cast includes Lauren Ward and Josie Walke, as well as Marc Antolin, Melanie La Barrie, Verity Bentham, Michael Kent and Emily Shaw. Comedian Paul Kaye played Matilda's father, Mr Wormwood. I was amazed at the development of this character, a real-life depiction of the Quentin Blake illustrations I was so familiar with.

Bertie Carvel as the infamous Agatha Trunchbull was excellent. One of the most grotesque characters in the Roald Dahl world, Miss Trunchbull dominated the stage and epitomised the dominating, terrifying woman from the original book.

Matilda herself, played by the tiny 11-year old lead star Sophia Kiely presented a fantastically believable character. She was clever, cunning and cute.

As for the songs, all were very fitting and generously spread out throughout the story. Both the opening and final songs included the whole cast, which gave a sense of togetherness that I felt really summarised the atmosphere of the show.
Recently, "Matilda: The Musical" broke Olivier Awards records, winning a staggering seven awards. This is evidence for the overwhelming success of this play -- a thoroughly brilliant performance.

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  1. I saw this production too, and I agree that it was fantastic. The music by Tim Minchin was incredible, and the set design of the stage was marvellous. But all the children in the cast were amazing - the choreography and the vocals was very impressive for children at their age.

  2. I have watched the movie of Matilda and I have read it too but I haven't seen it in Theatre, but after you bloged it I am realy intriged in what you have wrote about it and now I want to go see it in the Theatre. Maybe I can see if my mum will let me go and see it because I would like to and I know that she likes Matilda too.


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