Books and Music… Matilda!

“Even if you’re little, you can do a lot, you mustn’t let a little thing like ‘little’ stop you.”

My birthday present to my sister this year was a visit to the theatre in London to see the RSC’s brilliant production: Matilda, the Musical. (We both wanted to see it, so it was a perfect opportunity!) I had heard a lot about it beforehand, and had seen clips of a few of the songs, so I expected it to be good, but I was very impressed. It definitely exceeded my expectations, especially the young girl who played Matilda who was amazing.

Before it had even started I knew that I would love the staging. It’s beautifully designed, and very clever (with most of the set rising from the floor) and was well used. My favourite part actually involved using this brilliant set and blocks which slotted into place for the actors to climb up (the ‘alphabet’ for anyone who has seen it).

I also loved the dance choreography. It was dynamic but interesting, and I was amazed by how competent the young performers were with the such complex and quick movements – I could hardly distinguish them from the adult performers at all (other than size).

Musically, this production is brilliant. Tim Minchin, who devised the music and wrote the lyrics, is awesome and so talented! Four days later and I am still wandering around the house singing all the different songs… I think that speaks (sings?) for itself. They’re SO CATCHY!

However, this is a production with a target audience of younger children. Half way through the second half a lot of them began to fidget – a wave of rustling swept through the audience during one of the quieter moments, which was slightly distracting. But once the action picked up again their attention was soon absorbed (even the “I’m too cool for this” 10-year-old boys in front of me).

Overall, it was a fantastically fun musical with great messages for both the younger children and older children alike.

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London, Christmas & Matilda

 “The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives… She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.

Roald Dahl is possibly the greatest children’s fiction writer ever – and for good reasons: he is so inventive and unique with his characters and plots. Thinking back, some of his characters (such as Miss Trunchball) were quite scary, although obviously not too much! But even at 18 I can still pick up any of his books and be immediately engaged, as well as being pulled back into my childhood.

As a bookworm, Matilda was naturally one of my favourite Roald Dahl books (along with James and the Giant Peach). It’s a great book to get children even more enthusiastic about reading, as well as teaching them about having courage and learning the difference between right and wrong. (All important lessons for a maturing child.)

Naturally the book was slightly different to the plot of the musical, but I think the changes were quite necessary and not a bad idea. However, I can’t imagine there will ever be another writer quite like Roald Dahl.

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