Matilda The Musical

When Noel Coward warned a certain Mrs Worthington against putting her daughter on the stage, it's highly likely that he didn't have Matilda The Musical in mind at the time. For not only are its young cast members in the spotlight, they fully deserve to be there. That said, I do worry about the psychological consequences for any young girl who finds herself the focus of rapturous applause from a near-sold out Edinburgh Playhouse.

Freya Scott's performance is tight, her voice clear and yet surprisingly emotive.

As a performer, Freya Scott (playing the titular character on the night of this review) takes everything in her stride: more, she embodies the musical's distinctive mix of innocence and the grotesque, ensuring we immediately take the scripted precocious, five-year-old book-reader to our hearts. Scott's performance is tight, her voice clear and yet surprisingly emotive, whether she's singing about being "Naughty" or finding solace in the "Quiet". The rapturous applause she receives at the end is perfectly justified; it's an open wonder of this now-touring show that the producers continue to find such talented young stars.

There's little to say about the show itself; Dennis Kelly's script feels more in keeping with Roald Dahl's original novel, at least in comparison to the film adaptation, while Tim Minchin's lyrics and score – if lacking an obvious "breakout" hit – nevertheless successfully build character, narrative and atmosphere. Although the sound system at the Playhouse on occasions sounds a bit tinnier than it should, there's an undoubted scale to this production which ensures its not swamped by playing in such a large venue. Rob Howell's set and costume designs, along with Hugh Vanstone’s lighting, all contribute notably to the whole story.

Disappointingly, some ensemble songs (especially from the children) lack total clarity in diction and emotion, but overall the production is evenly balanced, with Elliot Harper (cruel head-teacher Miss Trunchbull) and Carly Thoms (kind teacher Miss Honey) finding nuances in their particular characters. Thanks to the strength of its original source, "Matilda The Musical" undoubtedly enjoys a narrative focus and relative complexity all too rare nowadays, especially in comparison to most jukebox musicals. Good show!

Reviews by Paul F Cockburn

Royal Lyceum Theatre

Mrs Puntila And Her Man Matti

★★
Traverse Theatre

W*nk Buddies

★★★
Traverse Theatre

Pride Plays

★★★★
Multiple Venues

Oor Wullie

★★★★
Oran Mor / Traverse Theatre

Fly Me To The Moon

★★★★
Platform / Traverse Theatre

The Panopticon

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

The multi-award winning musical from the Royal Shakespeare Company, inspired by the beloved book by the incomparable Roald Dahl, continues its National Tour. With book by Dennis Kelly and original songs by Tim Minchin, Matilda The Musical is the story of an extraordinary little girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny. Winner of more than 85 international awards, including 16 for Best Musical, Matilda The Musical continues to delight audiences in London and on tour across the UK and Ireland.

Most Popular See More

Matilda the Musical

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £29.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets