Matilda is still enjoying full houses at the Cambridge Theatre almost six years after it first opened in the West End. When you enter the auditorium, you are first struck by the colourful and quirky set, bursting out from the proscenium arch and surrounding the stage. It sets the tone for the whole production that is bright, colourful and engaging.
Dahl’s familiar characters, indeed caricatures, are brought vividly to life. The story follows the plight of the titular character, born into a resentful, crooked, telly-obsessed family and her escapism through books and reading. When she is able, she starts school, presided over by the former shot put throwing champion – the formidable Miss Trunchbull.
The story is supported by Minchin’s brilliantly inventive music and playful, witty lyrics. His musical style is well suited to Dahl’s writing (perfectly adapted for the stage by Dennis Kelly). Joyous and uplifting, this show is a perfect example of a creative team all working exceptionally well together on a shared idea.
The show is a delight for people of every age. There is something for everyone to everyone to enjoy. I challenge anyone to visit the show and not leave feeling uplifted, smiling and wanting to be a little bit ‘norty’.