Matilda – Lara Cohen
Miss Trunchbull – Craige Els
Miss Honey – Carly Thoms
Mrs Wormwood – Rebecca Thornhill
Mr Wormwood – Sebastien Torika
Michael Wormwood – Matthew Caputo
Bruce – Raphael Higgins-Humes
Lavender – Scarlett Weegram
Nigel – Nick Seal
Amanda – Lyla Toplass
Eric – Jobe Hart
Alice – Nina Bell
Hortensia – Maisy-May Woods-Smeeth
Tommy – Jaden Meek
Venue: Sunderland Empire
Date: Friday 18th May 2018
Matilda the film from 1996 was one of those films that I grew up watching and therefore loving. I found it interesting when they decided to turn it into a musical and eventually got round to seeing it on its first UK tour when it arrived in the North East at the Sunderland Empire. It has proven to be a rather popular show for selling tickets with only availability left for the midweek performances. A slight warning though that the tickets are on the expensive side, which seems to be happening more often with shows that have a long stint in a theatre during a tour.
I went into this musical totally blind towards the songs that would be in it as I have never listened to the soundtrack or watched anything in the build up, sometimes I feel as though that really does add to the experience more if you have never heard the songs or any idea of the choreography. It was also going to be interesting to see how they were then placed into the story that everyone already knows so well.
Don’t worry about the story you still get all of your favourite moments from the film and put on stage in very different and impressive ways it has to be said. I am afraid to admit though that the songs didn’t really grab and hold me and I didn’t leave the theatre with any of them playing over and over again in my head. I am not saying the performances weren’t brilliant as they really were with the very talented child performers and the outstanding Craige Els stealing the stage every single time he was on it as Trunchbull. My favourite moment had to be the swings being used as part of that routine, that was very effective and good to watch.
I guess sometimes you just don’t get the hype surrounding a show and you are expecting way too much from it, I think that was how I went to see this one. Again though we aren’t going to like everything that we find ourselves watching, the songs with this were just a little bit out from the story and we had that make-believe story from Matilda in the library as well which I just felt had dragged to be brutally honest. I was hoping with Tim Minchin involved with the music and lyrics I was going to love it as much as Groundhog Day, but that wasn’t to be the case.
Therefore I can tick this one-off the list but not join the hype surrounding it unfortunately this one just wasn’t for me to add to my musical theatre loves. How have others found Matilda?
Matilda is on a tour around the UK currently booking up until July 2019! Check out the website for ticket details here.