We went to go and see Matilda the Musical last weekend for Mandatory Family Fun Time (TM). It was great!
We trogged up to London in the evening on the train, grabbed some lunch and then headed over to the Cambridge Theatre.The theatre was well laid out; the show was sold out but it was still easy enough to move around in. Some of the London theatres were built for people four feet tall with Rickets + Scurvy + The Black Death and it’s often a squash and a squeeze both getting to your seat and well, actually sitting in it.
The foyer and corridors had loads of decorations that made it look like the school and the concessions stands were displayed as tuck-shops 🙂 I always get a little nervous bringing printed paper tickets along but the staff scanned them and got us through with no problems at all.
I can’t remember all of the book for Matilda. I remember reading parts with my girls when they were younger but I either forgot the rest or never read it all. I remember the film though! That said, the musical had a real vibe from the book; both in the stage layout and how Ms Trunchbull looked.
The stage wasn’t a big, interactive and showy like in some musicals but it was able to perform a few tricks without dominating the proceedings. There were some really clever bits as well such as how the class desks rose when needed or how the school gates were used as a frame to climb and present on.
Musically the songs were good fun. Short and bouncy in the most part and most were full of exuberance and mischief. There weren’t any really rousing barn-stormers but there were plenty I’ve caught myself singing a week later. It fitted well with the themes of the show and none overstayed their welcome.
I liked the cast and characters. Miss Trunchbull was a favourite (the “imagine a world without children” song got quite a few wry chuckles from the adults in the audience) but all the characters had their moments to shine. Our Matilda was brilliant conveying humour, grit and was the avatar of retribution. Lots of anarchy from the rest of the kids in the cast too.All in it’s really worth seeing; either as adults or with kids (there was a fair mix in the audience). The time flew by and we all loved it.
Pro-Tip 1 : Get back to your seat early after the interval as one of the characters started entertaining the audience before the start of the second act.
Pro-Tip 2 : The tube stations were packed after the shows so we couldn’t get in. Make sure you’re happy walking, waiting or taxiing 😀 The walk across London to our train station was fun though.