Over 30 years after Roald Dahl published this beloved children’s book, Matilda is still a big hit, with the hero being not afraid to stand up to bullies, be brave and nerdy all while being a little bit naughty.
Living with horrible parents who lie and cheat their way to the top, five-year-old Matilda escapes the real world in the world of books.
Bringing to her imagination to life, Nik Ashton’s direction of Dennis Kelly’s witty book uses different forms of storytelling and creates something extraordinary on stage. Tim Minchin’s comic and cleverly written songs, the show has every kind of classic musical theatre song in it, but that extra British comic twist!
The audience is taken to a circus, moved from school to home in seconds, all using bookcases that shift and move around the stage.
The show is led and held by the child actors, and stealing the show, and the audience’s heart is the incredibly talented Sophia Ally, who took on the lead role of Matilda in her stride. Her stage presence, unmoving nerve and superb performance of “Naughty.”
Towering over the children and adults alike, Craige Els embodies the large and scary Miss Trunchbull with incredible wit and authority. The moment when Trunch grabs Lavender by the pigtails and flings her across the stage is comical and also breathtaking, leaving some perplexed and amazed faces on in the audience.
The highly grotesque Mr and Mrs Wormwood steal the show at many moments, including the fast-paced salsa dance “Loud”. I have to applaud Rebecca Thornhill’s performance as Mrs Wormwood and how high she can lift her legs!
Being the complete opposite of every other adult, Carly Thomas’s portrayal of Miss Honey is sublime, and “My House” was a tear-jerker.
The production and whole show are one for the entire family to enjoy and fall in love with, and the cast and crew didn’t let the slight technical hitch at the beginning of the show stop them from delivering a stand-ovation worthy performance.
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s hit show is running at the Manchester Palace theatre for 11 weeks, and the show is as magical on stage as we all picture it when reading the book!