I’m sure there are few people who don’t know the story of Matilda. A gifted child whose parents despise her, is sent away to a school with a scrupulous head teacher that demands children should follow strict rules and that learning should should be approached by not necessarily having their heads in books but rather with punishing ‘phys-ed’. That is until Matilda arrives for her first day of class.
This stage show really sticks to the original story, written by Roald Dahl and first published in 1988 and then remade for Hollywood in 1996. It’s a story that despite being 30 years old can still be relatable to today, with good overcoming evil.
The show itself was brilliant from start to finish. Sometimes when stories are remade into musicals, I feel that they put songs in for the sake of it, however Matilda didn’t suffer this fate and each song fitted and portrayed the mood of the scene perfectly.
The stage and lighting were also fantastic. Although at first I feel the scenery and stage edging was a bit busy and a bit of a distraction from what was going on, the story soon gripped me and I couldn’t take my eyes off it. The changes in lighting and music really emphasised each scene and gave an immersive experience that dragged the viewer into the story.
The acting, most of which was done by children, was amazing. But my best character from the performance was Miss Trunchbull, the mean head teacher, played by Craige Els. Despite being a man playing a woman, he was no pantomime dame and delivered a great performance that was both scary and hilarious.
Overall, the whole show was great and I would definitely go and see it again and I recommend you do the same. It’s running at Milton Keynes Theatre until the 30th June. Tickets are available from www.atgtickets.com/shows/matilda/milton-keynes-theatre. Be quick though as this is going to be a popular one.