It's the show of the summer and the Muddy household has been looking forward to it for months. I'll start with one word - AWESOME!
This was my 13 and & 7 year old’s professional opinion of this classic Roald Dahl story which has entertained us as a book, film and now musical. I almost want to finish the review there, as they are the target audience and what better recommendation can you get to go see a show?
However, I wouldn’t be doing this Royal Shakespeare Company production any justice if I didn’t wax lyrical about the amazing sets, beautiful choreography, fantastic tunes (Tim Minchin’s first musical venture) and quite frankly stupendous child acting. How do they remember all those lines???
The group of youngsters who carried the show were simply brilliant. Confident, funny and certainly not ‘revolting’ as Miss Trunchball would have us all believe.
Talking of which – Elliot Harper who played Miss Trunchball brought a different energy to the character, slightly more comedic than menacing. Some great special effects with sound and lighting throughout the production which shifted the mood for the audience. No more so than during the infamous newt scene when Matilda discovers her telepathic powers.
Matilda, played by ten year old Sophie Woolhouse delivered an outstanding performance, certainly coming into her stride in the second half. It’s hard not to compare characters to the film and probably more importantly your imagination but the innocence of ‘my’ Matilda was a little lost. The sharpness of her delivery was in danger of sounding a little too precocious. Having said that – she was absolutely brilliant and it’s a wonder that someone so young can remember so many lines, lyrics and dance moves.
The standout moment for me was ‘School Song’ which featured an imposing school gate, light up alphabet blocks, dance/climbing and coordinating lyrics. It left me completely in awe of the precision of the choreography.
The piggy tail throw and chocolate cake scene were both very clever and made my seven year old gasp with excitement and wonder.
There were some new theatrical additions but I’m not a purist and I liked that Playwright Dennis Kelley and Director Matthew Warchus mixed things up a bit. Matilda’s clairvoyant story telling of Miss Honey’s life (it will makes sense trust me) was a lovely deviation which switched the narrative up and who’d have thought the Russian Mafia would make an appearance?
Overall a magical performance that has won over 90 awards and certainly gets our Muddy thumbs up!
Matilda is on until Sat 17th August and there are limited tickets available.
Book tickets £40.50 – £58.50