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The rumours have been confirmed and Matilda the Musical adapted by Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly from Roald Dahl's children's novel Matilda for the Royal Shakespeare company is to transfer to the West End later this year.

Matilda played a Christmas season from 9 December to 30 January 2011 at the RSC's Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon where it received rave reviews from the critics.

The Stratford production starred Josie Walker, Lauren Ward, Paul Kaye and Bertie Carvel as well as three teams of children and was directed by Matthew Warchus.

Best known as an Australian comedian with a unique brand of musical comedy, Tim Minchin is a Perrier Award-winner and has become one of the biggest acts on the circuit with a global following and various sell-out tours and TV appearances. He brings his biggest live show ever to the Royal Albert Hall on 28 and 29 April complete with a with a 55 piece heritage orchestra.

Dennis Kelly is a London-based writer for both the theatre and television. Oberon plays have published a volume of Dennis Kelly Plays; Debris, After the End, Osama the Hero and Love and Money. In television he is best known for his work on BBC Three's sitcom Pulling.  His recent theatre theatre Work includes Children's Monologues True Love, Sums and Christmas in 2010 - a one off event at the Old Vic Theatre, The Gods Weep in 2010 which premiered at the Hampstead Theatre, The Prince of Homburg in 2010 a translation, original by Heinrich von Kleist which premiered at the Donmar Warehouse and Orphans in 2009 which premiered at the Traverse Theatre before it transferred to the Soho Theatre.

Announcing the production, the RSC have said tickets will go on sale in May when performance dates and casting will also be confirmed. The company have not yet confirmed which London theatre the production will be shown at. Likely to begin it's run in the Autumn, it has been speculated it may be the Aldwych Theatre, where Dirty Dancing announced it would end its five-year run on 9 July 2011, prior to a two year national tour. Other theatres have been rumoured, however the RSC would not comment on the possibility of going into a theatre where another production is currently booking.

Matilda is a children's novel by British author Roald Dahl. It was published in 1988 by Jonathan Cape in London, with illustrations by Quentin Blake. The story is about Matilda Wormwood, a special little girl with an extraordinary imagination, with ordinary and rather unpleasant parents, who are contemptuous of their daughter's prodigious talents. 

"She had begun to imagine the most incredible tales, entire universes inside her head. Stories, stories! I’m a sucker for a good story...'

Welcome to the magical world of Roald Dahl's Matilda, the special little girl with an extraordinary imagination.

Her parents think she is a nuisance and she thinks, quite rightly, they are only interested in watching telly. When they are not glued to the box, her mum spends all her time practising ballroom dancing while her dad gloats about his latest dodgy business deal. Life is not much better at school, where the monstrous headmistress Miss Trunchbull terrifies students and teachers alike.

Then one day Matilda discovers she has a very special power and decides it's time the grown ups were taught a lesson.  

Matilda was also adapted into a film in 1996.

The stage version has been hailed by one critic from the Daily Telegraph as "the best British musical since Billy Elliot".

The musical was awarded the Peter Hepple Award for Best Musical at The Critics Circle Award.  Matt Wolf, theatre critice for the International Herald Tribune who presented the award said "I have been to many press nights and witnessed many standing ovations.  But the standing ovation for this show was very different.  I watched the audience which consisted of kids giggling and chatting, adults wiping away a tear and sobbing.  Why?  This is a rare show that speaks to people on two levels.  Children respond to the colour, atheletics and the burp joke and the adults respond to that - but also respond to the fact that it is wise, witty, profound and extremely smart.  At the end of the musical there is a pun on Matilda which is even better than Sondheim.  I can honestly say that this is the best British musical i've seen in my 27 years in this country.

Keep checking for further news!

[posted by Louise, 31/03/2011]


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