Posts with the label Matilda the Musical
Showing posts with label Matilda the Musical. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Matilda the Musical. Show all posts

Friday 20 September 2019

Matilda the Musical, Cambridge Theatre | Review

Cambridge Theatre 
Reviewed on Wednesday 11th September 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 

On the week of Roald Dahl's birthday, it seems only right that I made a return visit to Matilda to experience the magical story on stage, helmed by a new cast who are bringing it to life with as much energy and wonder as when it opened eight years ago in the West End.

The RSC's production takes aspects of the much-loved original book and film and combines them with theatrical magic to create a show which delights adults and maggots alike. Laughter and beaming smiles fill the Cambridge Theatre as this delightful musical inspires and wows.

Matilda is written by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by the wonderfully wacky Australian, Tim Minchin and direction from Matthew Warchus. The score features intensely catchy melodies and lyrics which are fast, witty and beautiful as well as a book which is filled with humour for adults and children. This combination makes it the perfect treat for the whole family, who will be reminded of the magic and darkness ingrained in Dahl's writing.

The lyrical ingenuity is brought to life through Peter Darling's incredibly precise choreography, which makes use of the entire set and highlights what a well oiled machine this production is. In particular, School Song is a showcase of faultless timing, a stellar cast and innovative lyrics combining in a way which is overwhelmingly wonderful. The entirety of this production is choreographed to the second but each moment still manages to feel fresh and it's clear that the incredibly high standards maintained are what make this show a continual success in London.

Adorned with various alphabet pieces, Rob Howell's set is a star of it's own. Like the characters on stage, each individual piece comes together to create a marvellous wall of colour and interest. Hugh Vanstone's lighting complements the whole production, creating drama and joy and highlighting the contrast between the sweet Matilda, the loud, raucous Wormwood's and terrifying Miss Trunchbull. Extravagance and nuance are used in equal measure to create a pitch perfect piece of theatre.

The cast of this show bring to light just how much talent there is in the West End. Throughout there is not a weak link, and each performance is a stand out in itself. Our young (and tiny) leading lady, Tilly-Raye Bayer is luminous as she rattles through the bold show. Her energy and charisma shine from the outset but she also manages to create intimate moments of peace and sadness. As a character, Matilda is the perfect example of how to get through life. Tenacious, kind and clever, she uses all she has within her to inspire change and bring positivity to those around her. From the young cast, mention must also go to Louie Gray who is astounding as Bruce Bogtrotter.

Sebastian Torkia and Marianne Benedict as Mr and Mrs Wormwood are suitably garish and LOUD. With the pair's fantastic comedic timing they have the audience in hysterics as they show off just how few brain cells they have. Both make their characters bold and slapstick but are tame enough to stop them becoming panto-esque. This is again thanks to the brilliant writing which knows just when to give and take.

As ferocious Miss Trunchbull, Elliot Harper gives his all and his all is certainly enough. There isn't a moment which feels out of character, from repulsive scenes to grossly hilarious comments, Harper brings the headmistress to life exceptionally. With amazing attention to detail and stirring delivery of his dreams of a childless world, Harper is divinely awful.

In contrast Gina Beck is wonderfully understated and, as her name suggests, sweet. The relationship between Matilda and her teacher is touching and the audience really root for the pair. As the Doctor and various other characters Kane Oliver Parry shines vocally. Every single adult performer gives a super sleek performance as they bring multiple characters to life and perform the choreography with pin-stripe precision. Extremely well characterised, they create a real body of sound and action and imbue the show with magic. It should also be noted that Matt Krzan is fantastically flamboyant as Rudolpho; Gemma Scholes is the definition of grace as the Acrobat; and Georgia Carling, Connor Lewis and Ben Kerr really shine in their ensemble tracks. 

In fact, the whole Matilda cast really are Miracles and this is a production you must see at once. Teaching us to be ourselves, stand together, use our imaginations and fight for what we believe in, this is the perfect anecdote to the troubles and worries we face during the current social climate. Take a trip to Crunchem Hall and experience the chocolate box of joy that Matilda provides.

Matilda is currently booking at the Cambridge Theatre, tickets are available at

Matilda the Musical, Cambridge Theatre | Review

Friday 20 September 2019

Monday 26 March 2018

Why We Should 'Be More Matilda'

There are a lot of inspiring stories in this world, and for me, some of the best can be found in Musical Theatre. Some people think musicals are all about the fun, the glitz and the glamour, but really there are some truly inspiring stories intertwined with all of that. Stories of overcoming the impossible, reaching for your dreams and fighting adversity. At first, whilst enjoying the show, you may not realise the true depth of the story but it's there and I believe that we can learn a lot from the stories of the musicals.

On international women's day, there was a lot of talk on social media about the most inspiring women in musical theatre. Plenty to choose from but the twitter tag that really stood out to me was Be More Matilda. Despite being the smallest leading lady in the West End, Matilda is certainly inspiring, and the show as a whole has this wonderfully motivating story. So why should you choose to 'Be More Matilda’?

Matilda the musical, whilst being full of fun and humour, has an incredible story of fighting for what is right at its heart. It is a classic little versus large story, with a little girl coming up against her giant of a headmistress, with Matilda determined to turn the tables. Matilda the musical creates a world where children can teach adults the lessons they deserve and teaches the audience that you can do anything as long as you are determined.

Little Matilda Wormwood, despite her size, is stubborn and won't take no for an answer. She knows that it is not right that Miss Trunchball treats the students of her school like prisoners, or that her parents treat her like dirt, and she is intent on teaching them a lesson. As she says, 'Even if you find that life's not fair, it doesn't mean that you just have to grin and bear it'. Matilda is a strong character, she knows that things need to change, and she uses her incredible mind and fighting spirit to prove everyone around her wrong and change her life for the better.

In Musical Theatre, there are a few characters that champion the idea that 'Even if you're little you can do a lot' and Matilda is just one of them. You could also mention Les Miserables Gavroche, the tough talking urchin who fights to the death alongside the rebellious students, or Barnum's General Tom Thumb who uses his circus act to celebrate his small size with a proud proclamation that Bigger isn't better.

Despite her size and the fact that the clear majority of the adults around her want to silence her, Matilda comes out on top. She fights against it all, using her brains and her determination to right all the wrongs in her life. Matilda is inspired by the stories she reads in her books, and she understands how those characters could have changed their stories. With that inspiration, she is able to change her own story. She believes that the biggest event can begin with the tiniest start, and even though you're small, you can do anything you want to do.

Matilda the Musical teaches everyone who watches it a wonderful lesson. It tells everyone that if you have a problem, you shouldn't just sit around and let it get on top, because that is a way of saying that it's okay, when it really isn't. The show teaches that you are the creator of your own story and no one else can write that story for you.

So, whether you decide to be the tiniest mite who packs the mightiest sting or decide to take advice from Mrs Wormwood and Rudolpho in Loud and give yourself permission to shine, maybe it's time to decide to Be More Matilda.

Comment down below how you're going to Be More Matilda or which other musical theatre characters inspire you...

Article written by Becky Wallis

Why We Should 'Be More Matilda'

Monday 26 March 2018