Matilda

Opening Night verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Writer Nikki Cotter

Much anticipation has surrounded the arrival of Matilda to Manchester’s Palace Theatre as part of its first ever UK tour. Based on the much-loved story by arguably the world’s greatest children’s writer, Roald Dahl, the show has been seen by over 8 million people worldwide; within minutes of the opening number starting it is abundantly clear why.

Upon entering the theatre the set immediately impresses, blocks of wooden and coloured letters with shelf after shelf of books adorn the stage as the cast burst into life with opening number Miracle. Tim Minchin’s music and lyrics are packed with witty cynicism, sharp observation and glorious mischief from first note to last as this fast paced, addictive musical draws you in.

Tonight Sophie Ally takes on the role of Matilda, the unfortunate child saddled with the dimmest and least loving parents in the world. While Matilda wows with her brilliance the woeful Wormwoods are too busy scratching their stupid heads to notice. It is at school she finds her outlet as Miss Honey attempts to cultivate her clever little mind despite the fearsome Miss Trunchbull’s attempts to thwart them.

Sophie Ally makes for a magnificent Matilda, quietly confident and bursting with talent she is the perfect blend of mischief, magic and fearsome might. Her full standing ovation at the finale entirely deserved.

Craig Els reprises his West End role as the towering Miss Trunchbull to great comedic effect. His physical comedy is sensational, embodying the gargantuan villain entirely evoking roars of laughter as well as teeny, tiny, terrified nervous giggles from the audience as he struts menacingly round the stage. He looms large over his students, suspicious about everything and everyone, his insults stinging with hilarious outrage.

As Matilda’s parents the Wormwoods, Rebecca Thornhill and Sebastien Torkia the larger than life cartoonish characters are as grotesquely gaudy as Roald Dahl imagined them, selfish and simple but enormously entertaining they both give a star turn in demonstrating everything a parent shouldn’t be via their hilariously outlandish actions.

The true starts of the show are of course the ensemble of incredibly talented children who deliver Peter Darlings choreography with punchy precision. Their joyful enthusiasm is soaked up by every member of the audience, hitting a magnificent climax in the final number, the utterly addictive Revolting Children. Through scene after scene the sheer talent on stage renders you speechless, enthralled and desperate for more. The now iconic swing scene during When I Grow Up is heart-warming and beautifully effective in its childlike innocence and impressive staging.

Matilda is one of those uniquely brilliant shows which don’t come around very often. Every piece of the puzzle fits perfectly together from Tim Minchin’s magnificent music and lyrics to Dennis Kelly’s razor-sharp book. Matilda captures the hope and joy in celebrating and embracing difference, being who you want to be even and standing up for what you believe in…even if that means you have to be a little bit naughty. This RSC production evokes wonderfully one of Shakespeare’s most famous quotes, ‘And though she be but little, she is fierce’.

Powerful, punchy and utterly perfect, grab a ticket immediately!

Matilda is on at the Palace Theatre until Saturday 24th November, tickets available here.

Matilda announce tour cast

25 - Royal Shakespeare Companys Matilda The Musical. Credit Manuel Harlan

 

Today, the Royal Shakespeare Company announced the full adult casting for the first five venues of the Matilda The Musical 2018/19 UK and Ireland Tour, which includes a visit to Manchester’s Palace Theatre from Mon 18 September – Fri 24 November 2018.

Craige Els will reprise the role of Miss Trunchbull, having received rave reviews playing her in the West End for three years between 2014 and 2017. Craige will be joined by Carly Thoms as Miss Honey and Sebastien Torkia as Mr Wormwood as well as former West End cast-mate Rebecca Thornhill as Mrs Wormwood.

The rest of the adult cast are Joe Atkinson, Peter Bindloss, Oliver Bingham, Emily Bull, Matthew Caputo, Samara Casteallo, Matt Gillett, Michelle Chantelle Hopewell, Sam Lathwood, Steffan Lloyd-Evans, Charlie Martin, Anu Ogunmefun, Taylor Walker, Adam Vaughan and Dawn Williams.

The tour of Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly’s award-winning show will begin at Leicester Curve on 5 March 2018 before heading to Dublin, Sunderland, Milton Keynes, Birmingham, Manchester and Cardiff. Further dates will be announced in due course.

Tickets can be booked for Manchester dates here www.atgtickets.com/shows/matilda/palace-theatre-manchester/ Tuesday 18 September – Saturday 24 November 2018

Matilda to visit Manchester!

Royal Shakespeare Company's Matilda The Musical. Credit Manuel Harlan MAT 14.3-242

As part of a newly announced UK and Ireland tour, the Royal Shakespeare Company will visit Manchester’s Palace Theatre with their multi award-winning production Matilda The Musical, for an impressive 10-week run from Monday 18th September-Friday 24th November 2018.

Tickets for Manchester will go on-sale to the public on Wednesday 26 April following a priority booking period between Wednesday 19 – Tuesday 25 April. 

Winner of 85 international awards, including 16 for Best Musical, the RSC’s touring production of Matilda The Musical will open at Leicester Curve, playing from 5 March 2018 and will also visit Dublin, Sunderland, Milton Keynes, Birmingham and Cardiff with further dates and locations still to be announced in due course.

The production will be accompanied by a new education programme to engage young people, inspired by Matilda The Musical. From a travelling library of stories led by Mrs. Phelps, to whole school takeovers of Matilda, the RSC aims to reach over 15,000 children, in collaboration with touring theatre partners. Further details to be announced.

Royal Shakespeare Company's Matilda The Musical. Credit Manuel Harlan MAT 09.09.16-253 Small

Dennis Kelly, (book) said: “It’s been a long time coming but I’m delighted that we get to take Matilda around the UK and to Ireland. We have some fantastic theatres in this country and in Ireland, supported by smart, engaged audiences and we can’t wait to bring this crazy, messy, anarchic explosion of a show to them.”

 Tim Minchin, (music and lyrics) said: “I – like millions of others – feel like Dahl is in my blood, because I grew up with his books. So to have contributed to a piece of work that brings one of his most famous stories to life is one of my life’s great joys. I’m utterly thrilled that audiences in cities all across the UK and Ireland will now share and be part of Matilda’s story.

Catherine Mallyon, RSC Executive Director said: “We are thrilled our home-grown miracle, which started life after a seven year gestation in Stratford-upon-Avon, has grown into a bit of a global phenomenon. Following Matilda’s successful run on Broadway, our current tours around North America, Australia and New Zealand, and continuing into our sixth year at the Cambridge Theatre in London’s West End, it is fantastic that we can share Matilda with audiences around the UK and in Ireland. In collaboration with our touring partners we will also deliver a programme of ground-breaking interactive education projects to enable young people to emulate Matilda, sharing the extraordinary power of story-telling and the boundless creativity of their imaginations.”

Royal Shakespeare Company's Matilda The Musical. Credit Manuel Harlan MAT 11.09.15-99

Now in its sixth year in London’s West End, Matilda The Musical is the longest running production at the Cambridge Theatre where it continues to play to packed houses. With book by Dennis Kelly, original songs by Tim Minchin and direction by Matthew Warchus, 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.

Inspired by the incomparable Roald Dahl’s beloved book, Matilda The Musical was commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company and premiered at the RSC’s The Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in November 2010, before transferring to London’s West End in October 2011, where it opened to rave reviews.

Matilda The Musical has been seen by more than 6.5 million people worldwide. Having swept the board at the 2012 Olivier Awards, with a record-breaking seven awards, and winning four Tony Awards and a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theater for the four girls sharing the title role on Broadway, Matilda The Musical has now played in 50 cities worldwide and continues to delight audiences in London, Australia and on tour around North America.

 

TOUR Listings

 

Leicester Curve

Monday 5 – Saturday 24 March 2018

Box Office: 0116 242 3595

www.curveonline.co.uk

 

Dublin Bord Gais Energy Theatre

Wednesday 4 – Saturday 28 April 2018

Box Office: +353 (1) 677 7999

www.bordgaisenergytheatre.ie

 

Sunderland Empire Theatre

Tuesday 8 May – Saturday 2 June 2018

Box Office: 0844 871 3022*

www.atgtickets.com/venues/sunderland-empire

 

Milton Keynes Theatre

Tuesday 5 – Saturday 30 June 2018

Box Office: 0844 871 7652*

www.atgtickets.com/venues/milton-keynes-theatre

 

Birmingham Hippodrome

Tuesday 3 July – Saturday 8 September 2018

Box Office: 0844 338 5000**

www.birminghamhippodrome.com

 

Manchester Palace Theatre

Tuesday 18 September – Saturday 24 November 2018

Box Office: 0844 871 3019*

www.atgtickets.com/venues/palace-theatre-manchester

 

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff / Canolfan Mileniwm Cymru

Tuesday 4 December 2018 – Saturday 12 January 2019

Box Office: 029 2063 6464

www.wmc.org.uk