Matilda the musical succeeds on almost every level. It’s belly achingly funny, especially when put upon Matilda’s parents, the Wormwoods, are in the vicinity. It’s got fantastic music, with a host of memorable songs courtesy of songwriter Tim Minchin.
If that were not enough, however, the show also has massive heart, as it sympathetically traces the story of the precocious and resourceful Matilda who gets dumped in house of horrors school Crunchem Hall by her good for nothing parents.
The show opened to rave reviews in Stratford Upon Avon in 2011 and since then it has been wowing audiences both there and in the West End where it opened later the same year.
The children and especially the actresses playing Matilda are incredible and they bring a freshness and an energy to the production that lifts the material immeasurably. However, on this occasion, the stand out performances are provided by the adults, with David Shannon’s Ms Trunchbull proving a worthy follow up to the brilliant Craig Els in the role.
Equally good are the hideous but laugh out loud Wormwoods. Paul Kaye is hilarious as the so-dumb-it-must-hurt dad and Kay Murphy matches him all the way with her side-splitting performance of the floosy mother who would rather be doing the cha-cha-cha than cha-cha-changing nappies and picking up after her children.
The sets and staging work so perfectly that you sometimes quite forget that you are in a theatre full of people as the horrors of Crunchem Hall arise before you.
Matilda The Musical is a box of delights that will surely have something good for everyone. Be careful though, because people who see it soon realise that once is not nearly enough!
Matilda The Musical is booking until the 18th of December 2022. If you would like more information on the production, please click here.
If you would like more information on musicals in London, please click here.