| By Kay Johal
I grew up with Roald Dahl, I loved his Marvellous Medicine. I definitely knew a couple of Twits at school. I loved a Giant Peach and of course, I hankered after a BFG of my own. I was just like Matilda, head in a book, savouring every word. And that’s where the similarities ended. My parents were highly supportive of my desire to read and educate myself. I so wished I had the power of telekinesis.
Matilda the Musical, with music and lyrics by the startlingly talented Tim Minchin, was always going to be a good time. I was most interested to see how children would be able to get lost in the story, to be absorbed by the magic that Matilda has to offer. Set in the charming Cambridge Theatre, just off Seven Dials it has quite the staging and setting. You know you are in for a magical time when you step into the theatre. Of particular note are the letters of the alphabet displayed and dotted around. I shall leave that there, so not as to spoil, but do keep an eye out for them! Of course, I wanted to see what K bought up…..
The night I attended young Kitty Peterkin was making her first performance as Matilda. A very pure voice and a delight to watch, she excelled in her first show. David Shannon had a firm grip on the maggots as Miss Trunchbull, hilariously entertaining and scary in equal measure. And of course, the divine Gina Beck as Miss Honey, displaying her loving and maternal side, delivering what Matilda and the audience desired as an outcome. The little girl with the magic inside retained her innocence the whole way through. Mr and Mrs Wormwood brought jolliness to the proceedings, predictable but nonetheless fun.
The songs are catchy, and along with the children who attended, I was mesmerised at how well the story was put together. It made me realise two things – Roald Dahl will be passed down from generation to generation, and theatre will always have longevity in productions of this calibre. It is a treat for both children and parents alike.
Matilda has won over 85 awards worldwide, it has a planned tour for 2018 and of course, you can always read the book too, but I also suggest getting Matilda tickets now as it’s booking through 27 May 2018.