Matilda the Musical is a stage musical based on the children's novel of the same name by Roald Dahl. The musical's narrative centres on Matilda, a precocious 5-year-old girl with the gift of telekinesis , who loves reading, overcomes obstacles caused by her family and school, and helps her teacher to reclaim her life. Matilda has received widespread critical acclaim and box-office popularity, winning seven Olivier Awards , including Best New Musical—at the time, the most such awards ever won by a single show. In , the Royal Shakespeare Company announced its intention to stage a musical adaptation of Matilda , engaging Dennis Kelly as playwright, Tim Minchin as the composer and lyricist, Matthew Warchus as director, Chris Nightingale as orchestrator and music supervision, Rob Howell as set designer and Paul Kieve as illusionist and special effects creator. The show was originally scheduled to begin previews on 18 October , but because of structural and installation work at the theatre, the start of the performances was delayed until 25 October. The opening night was postponed from 22 to 24 November.
You are here
Rejoice, my theatergoing comrades. Rush now, barricade stormers of culture, to the Shubert Theater, and join the insurrection against tyranny, television, illiteracy, unjust punishment and impoverished imaginations, led by a 5-year-old La Pasionaria with a poker face and an off-the-charts I. I mean little children. You know what I mean: the nagging awareness of the monster under the bed, the bully on the bus, the first day of school and the teacher who lurks there to make your life a humiliating hell. And I promise you have never met a teacher who inspires fear and loathing as commandingly and wittily as Miss Trunchbull, portrayed by the incomparable Bertie Carvel as a fascist on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
Site Information Navigation
LONDON — Smells like pre-teen spirit at the Cambridge Theater, where a throng of irresistibly fed-up boys and girls are storming the barricades of adult oppression. These newly armed, formerly downtrodden creatures have learned one of the first lessons of revolution: who owns the language has the power. And not just the anxieties of being a little kid who knows monsters are lurking under the bed. Oh, did I mention that giant artificial sun — a Tropicana-sponsored art project — that was installed in Trafalgar Square as a January pick-me-up for light-starved Londoners? Certainly one of the factors in the popularity of the David Hockney show at the Royal Academy of Arts is its radiant palette, which this artist deploys to transform his gray-toned native northern England into somewhere over the rainbow. It stays true to the tartness of Dahl, who reveled in the sinister and knew that children do too. Both feature little girls of unusual resourcefulness and determination, pitted against a demented institutional authority figure. Unlike Annie, Matilda Wormwood played by four actresses in rotation; it was Cleo Demetriou at the performance I saw is not an orphan.
As the five-time Tony Award-winning Matilda the Musical enters its final months here on Broadway and with the recent new addition of Bryce Ryness to the cast as the infamously cruel headmistress Agatha Trunchbull, we decided to revisit this adored British import to see if that Roald Dahl magic is still in abundance at the Shubert Theatre. So what is it about this show in particular that delights theatregoers young and old and has enabled such a lengthy run on Broadway? There are a few times in life when a creative team is put together and everything just seems to click. You have beloved source material from an author who continues to stand the test of time in a rapidly evolving world, you have some of the most entertainingly clever lyrics and a beautiful mix of light and dark melodies from the supremely talented comic composer Tim Minchin, and a Tony-winning book by Dennis Kelly, packed with universal gags and a clear message to young ones and the young-at-heart in the audience. Then there is the piece-de-resistance — the ingenious Tony-winning scenic design by Rob Howell who also provides those wonderfully cartoonish costumes. There is so much for the eye to feast upon in this set, which bursts with originality. The mis-en-scene is nothing short of creative genius and, for my money, is one of the main reasons this musical is a standout in recent musical theatre history. Then you have the actors. The four young ladies who originated the role of Matilda took home a special Tony Award for Excellence in Theatre and I only wish that every young actress who successfully pulls off this part would be equally rewarded. Played now with terrific comic timing and physicality by Bryce Ryness, she is the backbone of the piece and an instant crowd favourite.