The revoltingly excellent Matilda arrives at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre

Here I am at Matilda the Musical

AD* Ahem, I’ll try to muster my best Miss Trunchbull voice, you’ll have to use your imagination…

See here you maggots, you filthy lot need to head down to Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre to see the newest arrival in town, Matilda The Musical, or I’ll put you in the chokey!

Only joking, although you would be mad to miss this enchanting show, it’s on until 6 July 2019.

Matilda and Miss Honey
Matilda and Miss Honey

The Royal Shakespeare Company have created this production with song lyrics by Tim Minchin and flourishes of art work from original illustrator of the book, Quentin Blake.

Its run has been wildly successful winning over 85 international awards, including seven Olivier Awards. Its popularity and praise is no surprise, the Roald Dahl tale of child genius breaks free from horrible parents to find forever home is a heart warming classic and it’s been beautifully transformed into the stage show.

I joined the Southampton Bloggers for Press Night at Mayflower Theatre

As a fan of the 1988 book and the Hollywood film in 1996 starring Danny DeVito, I was worried the musical, which took to the stage in 2010, might not live up to these two institutions of my childhood.

I need not have worried – it’s truly captivating!

Where do I even start?

The set? The special effects? The songs? The actors, let’s start there.

The child actors are INSANELY GOOD. There are about a billion lyrics, lines and choreographed dance moves to have learnt and they are so young but they remember every word, every tune and move perfectly. It’s so impressive.

A young lady called Freya Scott played Matilda and honestly she sang and danced her way into my heart and I was rooting for her every step of the way.

The adult performances were equally brilliant and there are so many I want to draw attention to. Miss Honey, Carly Thoms, had a gorgeous singing voice and captured the doting role of Matilda’s teacher beautifully and Mrs Phelps, Michelle Chantelle Hopewell, was the charismatic librarian that added another dimension of emotion to the show.

The Wormwoods

Mr and Mrs Wormwood, Rebecca Thornhill and Sebastien Torkis, injected pathos and comedy without relying on the Hollywood film versions of the characters. They were funny in an ‘Only Fools and Horses’ kind of a way – wheelers and dealers until the end!

But, and I’m sure lots of people who see the musical will echo my sentiment that, along with Matilda it was Miss Trunchbull, Elliot Harper, who stole the show. There are not enough adjectives! Mean, funny and effortless. Elliot embodied the headmistress exceptionally well. I’d have never have thought to get a man to play the role but it really works. His shrill voice and they way he plays the character is just so, so good. He’s totally nailed Miss Trunchbull!

On to the special effects, I genuinely have no idea how they got desks that move by themselves, no it wasn’t the floor moving! Then there’s one where a cup wobbles and falls over. I couldn’t see any strings, and it wasn’t on a table that had a hole cut in it – how did that happen? And, don’t get me started on the piece of chalk that can write on a blackboard without any human help. I mean who designed this trickery? After digging about on Google I found out it’s top theatre and film illusionist Paul Kieve!

The set was very well thought through

The whole show is very polished and the set, much like every other aspect of Matilda is exactly the same. It is dynamic, moving and morphing from a library to a bedroom to gates that can be climbed on and swung from. Oh, I’m not joking there’s a scene with park swings and choreographed dance!

The swings in Matilda
The swing scene in Matilda The Musical

You’re bound to go home singing some of the songs too, ‘When I Grow Up’ is very catchy and I loved the humour of ‘Telly’ but my favourite I think has to be ‘The Smell of Rebellion’ sung by Miss Trunchbull. Tim Minchin has done an excellent job at creating the right tone for the songs. You can tell it’s his style of song but, it doesn’t detract from the show it’s very wordy and the perfect fit for the story of book-loving Matilda.

Overall it’s a colourful and captivating show which re-tells the familiar story of Matilda so well- it really is magical and I have to say a big thank you to Mayflower Theatre for the invitation.

There’s still a few tickets left but, I doubt they’ll be around for long. Want to see if there’s still tickets not Matilda at Mayflower Theatre? Ok, let’s go check!

Have you seen this show? I’d love to know what you think!

Musical theatre fan? You need to see this show!

*Press Night Gifted Tickets for Review – BUT, all opinions are my own otherwise what’s the point?!

I joined the Southampton Bloggers for press night – a big thank you to Alice and Southampton Bloggers!

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