8 years on from it’s triumphant opening at the Royal Shakespeare Company (and the immediate West End and Worldwide success that followed), Matilda The Musical has arrived on UK Tour and it’s not only just as good as the London production – this could well be the best new show on tour this year.
It’s a family friendly production of the very highest standards, based on the classic children’s book from the genius of author Roald Dahl. It was rewritten for stage by Dennis Kelly and had music created for it by Tim Minchin – (including by far the most popular number “When I Grow Up”) all played by a live orchestra.
And of course, it follows the story of Matilda as she goes to school for the first time. Born to awful parents only to arrive at school with headteacher (child launching hammer thrower) Miss Trunchball. Her intelligence, unusual abilities and likeability see Matilda coming through her challenges – with the help of one very special class teacher.
Everything has been thrown at this production. What you notice first is a stunningly designed set made of children’s building blocks and similar shapes, which create an imagination provoking backdrop reflective of Dahl’s style. Exactly how you imagined the book coming to life.
It’s not long though before the outstanding talent on stage brings the story to life – and this production is led by the children. 12 insanely talented children that is, as part of a large cast of around 35. All of a very high calibre and stars of the West End.
Highlights include Craige Els reprising his role as a hilarious but vile Miss Trunchbull, Michelle Chantelle Hopewell as Mrs Phelps and Carly Thoms as Miss Honey. The highest standard of actors that you’ll see on tour this season bringing the show beautifully to life.
Some scenes are just magical. Alphabet blocks are impressively put into place just in time to fit the words that are being sang in “School Song”, Miss Trunchbull hammer throwing a child, Matilda making things move with her eyes, not to mention the incredible choreography that is sprinkled throughout. To name but a few.
Most magical of all though, is the performances of 12 talented children. Nicola Turner, who is one of three playing the challenging role of Matilda at different performances, was sensational in a leading role that would be challenging for any established star. She captured the audience’s hearts and her arrival at the curtain call led the most deserved of standing ovations in what was a heart warming moment.
This is the unmissable tour of the season.
It’s visiting Dublin, Sunderland, Milton Keynes, Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff, Plymouth, Bradford, Edinburgh, Bristol, Southampton and Norwich. But for now until Saturday 24th March it plays at Leicester Curve (click here to book tickets).
Tickets are available from just £10 ranging upto £58 – and if you are 16-24, a handful of £5 tickets are made available for each performance. Visit the Curve website for more details.