Trunchbull. The scariest headmistress to walk the planet. The hauntingly, good villiain from Roald Dahl’s highly acclaimed book, Matilda. The tale of a brilliantly imaginative school girl who dreamt of a better life.
This much loved classic has been successfully adapted for the stage, and I mean REALLY successfully. I took my older two kiddies (aged 8 & 6) to their first matinee production of Matilda The Musical at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre. Excited with anticipation they weren’t quite sure what to expect. Neither did I. Young imaginations crave new experiences, this felt like the ‘right’ production to expand their appreciation of the arts.
And it was. Matilda The Musical – nothing short of epic.
The casting was spectacular. Young Matilda and her cool clan of misfits nailed their characters to a tea. All so musically talented with an amazingly mature stage presence. Some were actually making their professional debut’s (wow!). Phenomenal young, home grown talent. And Trunchbull, hilariously revolting as well as the horrid Mr & Mrs Wormwood, equally well cast.
It was fast paced, engaging and kept us on the edge of our seats. It didn’t suffer from those ‘slowish’ moments you often experience in a stage production. It hummed like a well-oiled machine, tightly choreographed with such great energy. The lighting, special effects, dialogue, music score; all perfectly melded together to create continuous excitement – great for a younger audience. That said, there were plenty of ‘Roald Dahl’ enthusiasts (kid-free) in the audience.
The stage & set design captured the true essence of the original book. Each pivotal moment in the plot was creatively executed & so captivating to watch. From laser beams, flying books, swings to strobe lights & smoke – it really had it all. Having not read the book for many years, I’d forgotten how intense some of the themes within the story were. As a Mum, my heart went out to Matilda continuously and I had a whole new level of empathy for her character.
I had to explain a few things to Ivy during the show (she’s 6, a fairly mature 6). She was baffled at why a headmistress ‘hurt’ students and by Matilda’s parents lack of love and affection. To her, this didn’t make sense and she had a lot of questions. A human rights lawyer in the making. That said, she still absolutely loved it (she’s dance mad) but I would recommend Matilda for an 8+ audience.
Theatrically, Matilda The Musical is one of the best I’ve seen. An absolute spectacle of the senses. Definitely experience the magic while it’s touring in Australia. Buy tickets online here.
Some outakes of the show below.
Images sourced from Matilda The Musical