Review - Matilda at Milton Keynes Theatre
One may have to slightly question the sanity of staging this Roald Dahl classic featuring mostly kids as a fully choreographed musical.
But it is pretty much a challenge which everyone rises to incredibly well. Telling the story of Matilda, a determined young girl armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny.
Considering the cast is made up of actors aged anywhere between six and 10 (at a guess, we've never been told their age), the energy and choreography from the young cast is astonishing and would have put many musicals with their adult contemporaries to shame.
It is the youngsters which makes the show stand out and gives it the energy which sometimes is lacking in other musicals. I do feel that maybe nerves got to them a little bit throughout the first act as it wasn't entirely clearly what they were saying and singing, but they grew in confidence throughout the show.
A world for the adults in the cast, Craige Els is outstanding as the sadistically cruel Miss Trunchbull. He plays the part with so much relish and almost like a Bond villain. Upon her first appearance after turning around in the chair, you almost expected a white cat to be stroked.
Matilda's parents are also pretty good, Sebastien Torkia is as the cocky but idiotic father and Rebecca Thornhill as the dance obsessed mother, the perfect counterpoint to the angelic nature of Matilda.
I was a big fan of Roald Dahl growing up and have to admit because I love his story telling so much, I'm never a big fan when it adaptations they decide to drastically change the source material. However I rather liked the addition of Matilda telling a story to the librarian, and the story being the journey that Matilda's teacher Miss Honey goes on.
There is a lot of energy and a lot to admire in this musical for the entire family and one that can be thoroughly recommended.
It can be seen until Saturday June 30. Tickets for the show can be booked by visiting www.atgtickets.co.uk/miltonkeynes or by calling 0844 871 7652.