Theatre Review - Matilda - Mayflower Theatre

Updated: Jul 2, 2019


I grew up reading Roald Dahl books, I still read them now and they’re still just as wonderful as they were the first time. He was an incredible talent and his ability to create such beloved characters and such wonderful stories is something that continues to be passed down from generation to generation.

This is one of those shows that I was so excited to see. To return to my youth and see this story unfold in a different way.

The only thing that made me a little dubious was the fact that comedian Tim Minchin composed the music and I’m not really his biggest fan. When you’re watching a musical the songs are pivotal and I was worried that they’d be awful and ruin the whole thing for me. However they weren’t as bad as I was expecting!

If you’ve been living under a rock and have no knowledge of the story of Matilda its about a young girl who is born into a family that don’t appreciate her intelligence and her love for reading. When she finally goes to school her talents are recognised by her lovely teacher but vilified by her monster of a head teacher.  She is a sweet girl who likes things to be fair and she finds she has super powers that she uses to teach the bad guys in the story a lesson.

It’s a great story and told fabulously on the stage. The set for this is one of the best ones I’ve seen. It changes seamlessly from school to the homes of Matilda and her teacher, it even has a slide and swings. It’s almost like another character! It’s used particularly well during ‘School Song’ where boxes with letters of the alphabet are put up as the letters are mentioned and used for the cast to climb on, the lyrics for it are so clever and it was one of my favourite performances in the show.

The cast are wonderful in this. They are mostly children and every single one of the young cast in this was unbelievable. None of the parts are small and they don’t just have to sing, dance and act there’s acrobatics and stunts as well. I have never seen such a professional young cast. They absolutely blew me away!!

But for me the star of the show was Miss Trunchbull – the formidable headteacher who famously grabs a small child by her pigtails and throws her (which they actually do in this show and it was amazing) – Trunchbull is played by the incredible Elliot Harper and he was just perfect in the role.  He was mean yet hilarious and I was captivated by him the moment he said his first lines. He reminded me a little of Riff Raff from Rocky Horror but he was just wonderful, I’d watch it again just for him.

All in all I was really impressed with this show and liked it a lot more than I was expecting to, the songs are funny and heartwarming all at once. Apart from the performance of ‘School Song’ the other one to watch out for is ‘Telly’ performed by Mr Wormwood which had me in fits!

It’s a great fun show highly recommended for all ages.


Jodie Brough – Follow me on twitter @jodievoicefm