Matilda the Musical opens tonight!
Matilda the Musical opens tonight at QPAC! The Brisbane cast features the same powerhouse principles and welcomes to the stage four new local Matildas: Izellah Connelly, Annabella Cowley, Venice Harris and the Sunshine Coast’s Eva Murawski.
My teen niece, Ayla Vashti, saw Matilda in Melbourne and wrote this review…
Nobody but me is gonna change my story. There is a certain element of magic in those words; a promise of more mischief and wonder to come.
Matilda The Musical was based on the beloved novel by Roald Dahl. Written by Dennis Kelly, and directed by Matthew Warchus, it is an assault on the all the senses; audio, visual and even emotional. It is the winner of over 50 international awards, including 12 for Best Musical. The Observer reviewed it, saying, “It’s hard to imagine a show capturing the spirit of Roald Dahl’s literary world more perfectly than this one.” Being an avid reader of all of Dahl’s works, I wholeheartedly agree!
The title role of Matilda was played in rotation by Dusty Bursill (age 11), Tiana Mirra (age 11), Alannah Parfett (age 10), and Ingrid Torelli (age 9). These girls perfectly captured the essence of the witty and comical character that is Matilda.
Elise McCann (Fiddler On The Roof, Mamma Mia) was the ever sweet Miss Honey, with her dulcet tones filling the theatre and bringing tears to the eyes of the audience. The roles of Mr and Mrs Wormwood played by Daniel Frederikson (Ghost Rider, 2007) and Marika Aubrey (Miracle City). Their hilarious British accents and moronic comments had the audience in stitches with their stupidity. One of the most stand-out characters of the night was the large and terrifying Miss Trunchbull. This fantastic monster was brought to life by the incredible James Millar (Jesus Christ Superstar, Gutenberg! The Musical!). The eight other children in the schoolyard and the adult ensemble were all once more extraordinary actors, particularly Lavender, a girl who was so comically over-the-top that it made you laugh just as much as it made you cringe, feeling for the poor girl’s parents!
Entering the theatre my eyes were instantly drawn to the fantastic set; enlarged scrabble pieces and letters scribbled on blocks were stacked haphazardly, every now and then creating words. Naturally the letters that make up Matilda were recurring, my brain automatically making the connection to Matilda without the word actually ever being spelt. The opening song (Miracle) entranced me, drawing me into the fantastical world that was being created on the stage in front of me.
One of the most outstanding moments of the night was the scene in which Miss Trunchbull picks up a young girl by the name of Amanda Thripp by her plaits, and swings her around before throwing her! This was done extremely well, and Amanda came dropping down at just the right moment to cause heart palpitations among the viewers!
Tim Minchin is the genius that is to take credit for the music and lyrics. His songs are just the right mix of mischievous and whimsical, comical and solemn, effortlessly leading the audience on an emotional journey as they follow this little girl’s story.
Projections were effectively used to further the story, capturing the audience’s attention and keeping them mesmerised by the story that was playing out in front of their eyes. The technical elements only added to what was already an outstanding performance through skilful manipulating of lights and sound to give an almost dreamlike quality to the production.
Matilda The Musical is an extraordinary tale about an extraordinary girl with a vivid imagination, brought to life by the genius mind of Dennis Kelly and the witty and catchy tunes of Tim Minchin. It helps to remind us of all the fun of being a child, yet the longing to be grown-up, and that sometimes, you have to be a little bit naughty!