From one great master of words to another, completely different one.
Happy New Year!
On Sunday, I (along with my whole, large, family) was lucky enough to go to the rather awkwardly situated Cambridge Theatre to see the show of the moment 'Matilda, the Musical.'
With words by Dennis Kelly and lyrics by Tim Minchin, (yes HIM, the ginger one) and a spectacular cast it's not like you're walking in with any doubts. You are, however, walking in with 4 ankle-biters in tow, and are carefully picking your way around other people's small people. Not that the crowd was made up of just kids; not even close. It seemed that anyone who knew a small child took the opportunity and scooped them up as an excuse to buy a ticket... I suggest you do the same. Even if you don't have a munchkin. Take your gran. Take your partner, your sister, your small dog, whatever, just GO.
And we got our tickets in May. So get on Ebay.
When Tim Minchin said in interview that the audience would laugh and cry, and if you liked 'feeling stuff' you should go, I dismissed it as a bit of a cliche, but I was very, very wrong. To go from laughing to crying and back to laughing again in such a short time is bloody tiring, but my God, it's worth it.
Bertie Carvel as the terrifying Agatha Trunchbull, bane of my childhood, was an absolute revelation. A girl really did (very cleverly) get swung by her pigtails. Instead of the butch beast we see in the film, and possibly in our brains, he was a prissy, boarding school gal, clearly jolly-hockey-sticks and all that, and though the seemingly 'delicate' exterior was there, IT WAS STILL TRUNCHBULL. The menace Carvel portrayed in a single look at a squit (read: child) was truly paralyzing. And also, you know, hilarious at the same time. I admit that was often nervous laughter, yes.
Sophia Kiely was our Matilda, and she was just perfect. Tiny but determined, she pounded those stage boards like a total, total pro. The rest of the kids are hilarious, and you completely just want to get up and join them and shout 'YES! I'M ON YOUR SIDE!' - especially Bruce Bogtrotter, ever the hero. Matilda's parents, the Wormwoods, were played with aplomb, as was the lovely Miss Honey.
I know all the words to the soundtrack, which really deserves a post all on its own. Tim Minchin has not skimped on the tunes for his fancy wordplay, and every track is completely original and absolutely stonking. Chorus, duet, and solo all make you want to crawl onto the fabulous stage and never ever leave.
OH JUST GO AND SEE IT.
EDIT: In the 2012 Olivier awards Matilda absolutely stole the show, winning:
Best New Musical
Best Actor in a Musical (Bertie Carvel, Miss Trunchbull)
Best Actress in a Musical (which the 4 Matilda's shared!)
Best Set Design
Best Sound Design
And here are some FABULOUS pictures of the Matildas with our Sophia Kiely on the far left, and Bertie Carvel looking like one of the kids:
THESE PICTURES MAKE ME SO HAPPY!