I had the pleasure of taking my 6-year-old out on a ‘date night’ last week. Jed stayed home with Dad, and Ezra and mum hit the West End to review** the fabulous Matilda the Musical, an RSC production based on the book by Roald Dahl.
Matilda tells the story of an ordinary girl with extraordinary powers — from a prodigious mind to full-blown telekinetic abilities. But her real gift is her imagination and particularly her passion for storytelling, born from her love of books.
Horribly mistreated by her dad, a used car salesman/con artist and her mum, a salsa dancing strumpet, Matilda winds up in big school where she has to face off against evil head teacher Miss Trunchbull.
But thanks to Matilda’s refusal to ‘take it on the chin’, and the support of her schoolteacher as well as school friends including Lavender and Bruce, justice prevails and Miss Trunchbull’s reign of terror comes to a ‘supernatural’ end.
Winner of a record-breaking 6 Laurence Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical, Best Actress in a Musical (shared by 4 alternating Matildas) and Best Actor (the show-stopping Bertie Carvel as Miss Trunchbull), Matilda the Musical is nothing short of brilliant.
Dahl’s beloved tale takes you on an emotional journey, beautifully reworked for the stage by playwright Dennis Kelly and the crafty genius of Tim Minchin’s music and lyrics.
The cast are all wonderful and totally persuasive in their roles – Ezra was so convinced by Miss Trunchbull that he spent most of the interval expressing how much he hated her!
I did have to cuddle my little man through a few scary moments, particularly one scene involving the Olympic champ Miss Trunchbull whirling a kid around like she’s throwing a hammer.
The rest of the time we were either enthralled or cracking up, humming along to the infectious numbers and clapping like maniacs at the end.
I don’t want to spoil your fun before you watch it, but look out for some clever use of playground objects.
And there’s a moment right before curtain down that literally made my heart skip with joy.
One of the best nights of theatre I’ve had in years and a perfect evening out with my little man.
Matilda the Musical is at Cambridge Theatre, Seven Dials, 32-34 Earlham St, WC2 (Covent Garden tube). Tickets £20-£62.50. The show is recommended for ages 6+
** Catch a free live performance from Matilda the Musical and other top shows at West End Live this weekend (Jun 23-24) in Trafalgar Square. See our Weekend Scoop for more info!
**free review tickets