Matilda is one of Roald Dahl’s most loved stories. As a book, a movie and now an award winning musical, Matilda never fails to win over audiences with its inspiring messages of bravery and friendship. Tim Minchin and the Royal Shakespeare Company first brought this story to the stage in a shroud of musical glory in 2010 and since then it has taken the world by storm.
Matilda is the story of an incredibly defiant and smart young girl who uses brains and imagination to get her own back on the grown ups that have put her down. Her family don’t accept her and her headmistress doesn’t value her but she realises that ‘sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty’.
Having seen the London production very recently, I was interested to see how the tour would compare. As to be expected, this is a slightly simplified version but the magic most definitely remains. The wow-factor moments such as the Amanda Throw and The School Song are still as awe-inspiring as ever. Rob Howell’s set is gorgeous. The proscenium is one of the best in the business and has you mesmerised from the moment you enter the auditorium. The beautifully detailed backdrop has that classic Quentin Blake feel and the changing scenery in front sets each scene perfectly.
The cast of this touring production are phenomenal. Our leading lady Nicola Turner was tiny but mighty as Matilda. She was outstanding; brilliantly expressive facials and lovely vocals meant she told the story particularly well and was completely believable. An exceptionally talented young lady. Craige Els was absolutely brilliant reprising his role of Miss Trunchbull; the demon headmistress. He was both menacing and hilarious in the role – a real stand out. The rest of the adult cast were excellent with each bringing infectious energy and personality to the performance.
Of course, I can’t talk about the cast without mentioning the fantastic young talent on display. These young actors were incredibly well drilled, full of energy and completely loveable. Our little superstars were Elliot Stiff, Shaquahn Crowe, Nick Seal, Louella Asante-Owusu, Lyla Toplass, Maisy-May Woods-Smeeth and Tayah Marshall-Brewster.
This touring production of Matilda the Musical packs as much punch as it’s London predecessor. This high energy production is infectiously joyful and thoroughly uplifting. Matilda is a beautiful reminder that ‘even if you’re little you can do a lot’. My heart is full.
Matilda the Musical is at Curve Leicester until 24th March before heading off on its UK Tour.
I loved this musical so much that I’ll be back tonight for more! I’m making the most of the Curve Leicester and RSC offer of £5 tickets for 16-26 year olds! For tour dates and tickets click here!
*Production Images by Manuel Harlan