I have always been a fan of all things Roald Dahl, however, Matilda was one of the stories that slipped through the cracks a little with me. I loosely knew the story, but never felt excited by it and I didn’t see the film all the way through until about 3 years ago. Therefore the musical was never particularly high on my agenda, but thanks to their performances at West End Live 2016 & 2017 (which you may have heard me talk about in previous posts), I had a change of heart…
Over a year later since I first saw them perform at WEL, I finally got myself together and brought my friend and I tickets (I feel compelled to add that this felt like an extra special theatre trip, as this will most likely the last trip to London for a year or more, with one of my best friends as she’s off to study in and travel America for a year!), and the show truly exceeded all of our expectations.
If you don’t know the story of Matilda, then quite frankly where have you been?! However, if you really don’t know, Matilda tells the story of a young girl of the same name who is stuck with a family who are rude and cruel, but finds an escape in books and is given the gift of telekinesis. Along the way, she learns to overcome obstacles caused by her family and school, and helps her teacher reclaim her life.
The premise sounds pretty simple but there’s a clever subplot, that merges into the main plot and there are plenty of tricks along the way. It’s a story with heart and warmth, yet there’s an underlying sadness. It contains themes and characters that we can all relate to in one way another, which is what I think makes this story so special and widely adored.
As is common with the vast majority of West End shows, the cast were incredible. In particular, I always admire the children, as their energy and talents never fail to amaze me. I also have to give a notable mention to Biancha Szynal who stepped up to the mark as Miss Honey and did an amazing job – I always have so much respect for the understudies, as the show truly couldn’t happen without them.
As for the music, Tim Minchin & co. have a created a lovely score; it’s catchy, fun, sweet and comic. I left the show humming along, and I noticed many other families doing the same. And I think that’s always a good sign!
With the technicalities of the set, lighting, costumes, choreography etc. I was simply in awe. I feel like I perhaps say this too often, but it’s probably up there as one of the most visually exciting shows I’ve seen. In fact I’m quite surprised I didn’t hear more uncomfortable children in certain scenes because there were moments when even I came over with chills! (hint: pigtails!) A huge kudos to the creative team.
Overall, this is the perfect show for families, and those that are big kids at heart. It’s funny and silly, yet sad but heart-warming. Go and see it if you can! ★ ★ ★ ★
The show is running at the Cambridge Theatre in London, and is heading out on its first UK tour in 2018. For more information visit uk.matildathemusical.com.
I’m sorry for the lack of updates recently, but I’m determined to get back into the swing of things. I hope you enjoyed reading this review though, and would be great to see you on the next post!
♥ MOLLY THE BLOGGER ♥