Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Matilda the Musical

Saturday was a very exciting day in our household.  My friend and I booked to see Matilda for a birthday treat for A and her daughter, several months ago, and have been waiting a long time for the day to dawn.  So excited was I about the trip, that I eschewed wine on the work trip out on Friday night in favour of the less yummy, but less hangover-producing gin.  I was bright eyed and bushy tailed (almost completely) on Saturday morning.

We arrived in London and ate at the Rainforest Cafe, which was, it has to be said, more fun for the kids than for the mums.  I would have absolutely loved it when I was 8.

We then took a slow walk to the theatre,  buying assorted stuff which cost all the money in the world because it's in London, and that's the way it rolls.

The musical was absolutely, completely, amazingly brilliant.  Matilda is one of my favourite books ever, hence the name of this blog (The Reader of Books is the sub-title).  I was a little worried that the musical might not quite measure up, but it so utterly did.  It adapted the basic story for theatre, but not in a way that made it unrecognisable.  The songs were brilliant, the actors were amazing, and the stagecraft made us all gasp several times.  None of us wanted it to end.  And, as someone who normally starts fidgeting after more than 50 minutes in a theatre, that is high praise indeed coming from me.

The characters were all recognisable, but there were clever adaptations to make some of them fit better on stage.  Michael, Matilda's brother, is a grunting buffoon in the musical, and Mrs Trunchbull has a hilarious tinge of utter madness, which is hinted at in the book, but more fully realised on stage.

I would recommend this to any Roald Dahl fan, young or old, wholeheartedly and completely.  It's not cheap, but it's worth every penny.

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