Matilda, Cambridge Theatre

12 Nov

Matilda just transferred to the Camebridge Theatre after a sell-out run in Stratford, where is was originally produced by the Royal Shakepeare Company. Based on the book by Roald Dahl, this musical adaption is by Dennis Kelly (book) and Tim Minchin (music and lyrics). It is probably the most exciting new musical to open in the West End this year for me.

Most people will be familiar with the story, but it centres around Matilda, an exceptionally clever and special little girl, her family, her teacher Miss Honey and the head-mistress Miss Trunchbull. It’s just a lovely little story, perfect for children, but also appealing to adults.

The set looks amazing with all the books and moving pieces to create the different locations. I thought the choreography was stunning. My favourite scenes were When I Grow Up and the School Song, I’m not going to spoil it for anyone, but it looks brilliant! The songs are very catchy and tuneful with quite clever and witty lyrics.

I saw Eleanor Worthington-Cox as Matilda, who is simply delightful. Her charisma and stage presence (and talent obviously) is astonishing for someone so young. The same is true for the rest of the child cast members: Ruby Bridle, Zachary Harris, William Keeler, Lucy May Pollard, Louis Suc, Jemma Morgan, Katie Lee and Calum Henderson. They all dance, sing and act on an incredibly high level.

Lauren Ward as Miss Honey is very sweet and has got a lovely voice. Melanie La Barrie is great as Mrs Phelps, spot-on comic timing. Bertie Carvel (Miss Trunchbull) is just perfect. He pretty much steals the show (or he would if it wasn’t for the children!).

Josie Walker, Paul Kaye and Peter Howe as Matilda’s parents and brother are incredibly funny.

The ensemble play various parts through-out the show and are as excellent as the leads. It’s nice to see a new musical that does not feel the need to draw in the crowds through “names”.

The musical is a truly great adaption of the novel and is, in my opinion, far superior to the movie. Everything about it, the cast, the music, the lightning, the choreography and the direction are assembled to a pretty much perfect production. It just screams Olivier to me! And it’s not just for children, I left with a huge smile on my face, knowing that I had just seen something truly special.

Please note that I attended a preview performance!

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2 Responses to “Matilda, Cambridge Theatre”

  1. Victor Bourigault (@victobou) 1 December 2011 at 18:16 #

    I saw matilda last saturday and agree with you. The show is really appart from others, I felt quite uplifted for two hours. I saw Zachary Harris and William Keeler as well, great comedians, really funny. Cleo as Matilda have a wonderful voice. Will come back!

    • Polly Browne 1 December 2011 at 18:25 #

      Glad you enjoyed it as well! I’m definitely going back too 🙂

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