Review: Matilda the Musical
Does the stage production, now on at the Bristol Hippodrome, make its mark after such an adored book and iconic film?
And the music! Tim Minchin gives us songs that are at once cheeky and heartbreaking, that flow into the storyline so easily that it’s hard to imagine Matilda without them.
“It’s not right”, Matilda pronounces when her father tries to sell used cars as brand new to unsuspecting clients; when Miss Trunchball tricks students into punishment; when Miss Honey talks about being swindled out of her family house. Running through this glorious version of Matilda is a real moral streak, with a fierce little girl at its centre determined to make this world a better place. Special shout out goes to Olivia Juno Cleverley playing Matilda, who brings to her performance such vim and vigour. Hardly off the stage, she sparkles as the wonderfully unique Matilda.
This musical has a strong, positive message for the children in the audience – that, as Matilda sings, “even if you’re little you can do a lot” – who are all visibly beaming at the curtain call. And the adults too, to be sure – we all need a little bit of magic in our lives, after all.
Matilda the Musical is on at the Bristol Hippodrome until Sat 7 June.
Bristol Hippodrome, St Augustine’s Parade, Bristol BS1 4UZ.
Words Alex Sayers. Photos: Manuel Harlan