Dawn heads to see Matilda The Musical on its UK tour at Norwich Theatre Royal. Featuring singing, dancing and a spot of magic, it’s not to be missed.
Tickets were provided by Norwich Theatre Royal in return for a review.
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Matilda the Musical has arrived in Norfolk for a five-week run at Norwich Theatre Royal and it should be on everyone’s summer holiday activities list!
For those who don’t know (where have you been hiding?!) the story is about a brave and talented young girl, whose intelligence and imagination are belittled by her cruel parents and awful headmistress. On her journey towards standing up to these bullies (and to sometimes Be A Little Bit Naughty), Matilda discovers she has special powers that help her achieve her desires.
Read more: RSC’s Romeo & Juliet
This classic children’s story by Roald Dahl was published in 1988 before it was adapted into the popular 1996 film starring Danny DeVito and Pam Ferris. In 2010 Matilda The Musical wowed audiences and soon began its West End residency, before embarking on a tour of the UK and Ireland.
The staging and scenery was an explosion of books, letters and colours. I occasionally found myself staring at different sections during calmer scenes to fully appreciate the effort and work. Each scene was carefully lit and the use of swings created a free-spirited element to the song When I Grow Up.
My favourite scene (and musical number) was School Song. Clever use of words and phonetics married the lyrics to alphabet blocks. It was all set to fast-paced choreography, performed around and on gates (imagine gym apparatus/climbing frames). It was captivating.
Matilda The Musical: The Cast
The cast is made up of both children and adults. While there are some adults playing school children, the key child characters were brilliantly played by children. In fact, the entire cast gave outstanding performances packed with passion.
The complex and demanding role of Matilda (she is very rarely off-stage!) will be played, on rotation, by five different actors throughout the run in Norwich. Leading the cast on Thursday’s press night was the very talented Sophie Woolhouse.
Controversially, the role of Miss Trunchball is performed by a male actor. I was concerned there would be a panto-dame vibe, but Elliot Harper portrayed the butch and aggressive headmistress with finesse.
Sebastien Torkia and Rebecca Thornhill and were a comedy duo as Mr and Mrs Wormwood, while Theo Hanness stole the stage with some impressive vocals and incredible cake-eating ability!
This award-winning musical is bursting with energy and shouldn’t be missed. Its clever and intricate details, combined with love and laughter, offer something for everyone. It’s a show for the whole family.
If you can get a ticket, go see it.
Call the box office on 01603 630000. Matilda The Musical plays at Norwich Theatre Royal until Saturday 17 August 2019.
Image Credit: Helen Maybanks