Everyone knows the story of Matilda, whether it is through the books or the movie. Remember the little girl who was told by her parents that reading is stupid and who was bullied by her head master? Yes, that Matilda. It’s a successful West End musical, and if you haven’t been – go! Take your kids, or kids you know. While a lot of plays and tv shows and movies claim to have a great message for kids, this musical genuinely does. In a loving and gently obvious way it lets you know that creating stories and reading is good for you because it gives you the super power of imagination.
The stage is covered in letters like little thought bubbles. Everything is very colourful and bubbly and lively, just perfect for a family musical. The characters are over the top as with every Roald Dahl story. Matilda and Miss Honey seem to be the only “normal ones”. Miss Honey is depicted even lovelier in the musical than in the movies or the book, her warm heart and caring energy shines through. I enjoyed her struggle to want to help but to not always have the strength to stand up to the bullies. It’s endearingly honest, and not an easy super hero solution. And even though the head mistress is the bully and the bad guy of the story, you can’t help but absolutely love her too. She is hilarious and ridiculous at the same time. It is intentionally overdone to let the children in the audience know that she is the bad guy but that this is make believe and not real. Yet the message is strong enough for kids to realize characters like this in their own lives and find the strength to stand up to them.
This musical will leave you with goosebumps and in stitches all the same. Every character is clearly distinguishable and you find something you like in each of them. The only thing that did leave me quite sad is how many kids do grow up in homes with parents like Matilda’s or worse.