Monday 2 July 2018

Theatre Review: Matilda the Musical

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As a musical theatre lover and a long-time Roald Dahl fan, I've been wanting to see Matilda the Musical for quite a while. So, when the UK tour was announced, I immediately snapped up tickets!

On 30th June 2018, I headed along to Milton Keynes Theatre to catch the show - super excited to finally get a chance to see it! So - did Matilda live up to my high expectations?

The Origins of Matilda

The show is based on the original children's book Matilda by treasured author Roald Dahl. Matilda was always my favourite Roald Dahl book growing up - probably because I could easily relate to Matilda, being a massive bookworm myself! The musical follows the plot of the book, granted with a little artistic license here and there, but overall, the story remains the same.

Everyone's favourite characters return in the musical, with music and lyrics provided by the fantastic Tim Minchin and the musical script written by playwright Dennis Kelly. Although it is billed as a family-friendly show, there is still plenty to keep people of all ages entertained - the hallmark of a perfect all-around hit musical!

Filled with catchy, memorable songs that stick in your head for days, the music perfectly captures the true spirit of Roald Dahl's traditional Matilda. Quirky and creative, it's clear just how much work has gone into perfecting and preserving the magic of the original story for the children of today to enjoy. My personal favourite song is 'When I Grow Up' in Act Two, but there are plenty of top-notch songs to sing along to!

An Outstanding Cast

The set design is kept relatively simple and straightforward, allowing the focus to remain on the young actors, who absolutely steal the show. Despite their young age, it's clear that each and every one of the younger cast members are seasoned professionals, keeping calm, cool and collected and delivering a stellar performance night after night.

However, for me, the unsurprising star of the show was Matilda herself. The young actress playing the role of Matilda on the night gave a flawless performance, injecting real emotion into her voice and completely owning the stage. This was my first experience seeing a show where a child actor takes the lead role, so it's safe to say that I was completely blown away by the high quality of this performance.

Among the adults of the cast, the stand-out performance was Miss Trunchbull (Craige Els). Portraying the tough-as-nails headmistress, Els' performance was absolutely spot-on, providing the perfect balance of menacing villainy and more light-hearted family-friendly humour.

Matilda the Musical is a real heartstring-tugger - even those who are familiar with the story will still feel emotional at the end of the show! Playing on the emotional bond between children and their parents, at its very core, this is a story about love and family.

Ideal for families and equally well-suited to children and adults alike, Matilda the Musical is a real must-see musical.

If you are interested in seeing the musical yourself, tickets are available from the official website.

Have you seen Matilda the Musical? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

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