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Review: Matilda The Musical

The stage adaptation of the beloved book by Roald Dahl is joyous, raucous, magical and hilarious. Go see it now!

Everyone has a favourite Roald Dahl book…mine has always been Matilda so when the UK and Ireland tour kicked off at Leicester’s Curve this month, I wasted no time bagging my seats and expecting big things.

Based on Dahl’s 1988 novel, the musical is about a gifted young girl who loves to read. She is being raised, or rather neglected by her nasty, selfish parents. Along with her evil headmistress, Miss Trunchball they are jealous of her intelligence while also completely unaware of her supernatural talents.

Pic Credit: Manuel Harlan

The show already has a string of awards under its belt and it’s not surprising when you’ve got British writer Dennis Kelly and Australian musical comedian Tim Minchin at the helm.

Minchin’s lyrics are witty and the tunes are catchy so don’t be surprised if like me, you can’t them out of your head. There’s never a dull moment and the production keeps you hooked from the get-go with a chorus of children belting out a song called Miracle. When Matilda is introduced she explains that rather than a Miracle, her parents call her a “jumped-up little germ.”

Pic Credit: Manuel Harlan

The character of Matilda was played by Nicola Turner who was confident and impressive portraying the heroine as the sweet and sensitive soul we’re familiar with from the book, who finds solace in reading and her vivid imagination.

The delicious nastiness of her parents are acted out so well, you can’t help but love them and they were probably my favourite characters in the show thanks to their ridiculous and colourful costumes right through to their hilarious banter with Matilda; in one scene Matilda asks her mum if she wants to read a book to which she replies, “don’t be so disgusting” and questions “why you’d want to read books, when you can have looks?”

Pic Credit: Manuel Harlan

Memorable moments include the opening of Act two when Mr Wormwood takes to the stage and talks to the audience telling them not to partake in the activities they have seen in the show…i.e reading. He then bursts into a number called Telly singing lyrics  like “All I know I learned from telly, the bigger the telly, the smarter the man, you can tell from my big telly, just what a clever fella I am!”

Pic Credit: Manuel Harlan

Full marks go to Craige Els who plays Miss Trunchball who steals the show. The tall actor towers above the children beneath him and portrays the repulsive and cruel former hammer-throwing champ perfectly. He’s a cross between the Mountain from Game of Thrones and a pantomime character which is all together terrifying but hilarious at the same time.

Pic Credit: Manuel Harlan

This is brilliant musical for the entire family with a great production and fans of the book will not be disappointed.

Matilda, The Musical is on at Curve until Sat 24 March and will be heading to Dublin next.
Curve, 60 Rutland St, Leicester LE1 1SB

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