Roald Dahl, Tim Minchin, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and a crew of amazingly talented children to make you feel bad about your own meager accomplishments; what’s not to like?
First, all readers between 16 and 25 should know about the theatre’s special £5 tickets – if you can get one of the 16 of these held for each performance then don’t bother reading any further, just go see it!
Admittedly, I mainly went because of the above – a fiver for a West End musical was too good to pass up – but I’m also a big fan of Tim Minchin, so was excited to see how he has applied his particular style to a musical for a younger audience.
Based on the expectation of Matilda being a showcase of his work, I was a little disappointed. While there were moments where I could recognise him in the musical numbers, unfortunately Minchin’s characteristic wit was lost in the chorus of younger voices. Amazing performers as they were, children’s voices do lack the clarity I think Minchin’s lyrics require.
However, as musicals go it was good fun, attractively staged, and the tunes were enjoyable and memorable, even if some of the lyrics were lost. Although it would usually be considered exaggerated, the acting reflected Roald Dahl’s writing style well – but be warned if you’re not used to shows directed towards children.