Wow, what an experience! I can’t say I’ve been to many theatre productions but this was just amazing.
I haven’t read the Roald Dahl original book but have read others of his to my children. What a legend. His books that I’ve read are for children who like the disgusting. Retched characters and rotten things are what children like and he delivers with a good dose of humour. I can’t comment on how much the production is faithful to the book but the story was very well paced and brilliantly told.
It’s about an intelligent girl called Matilda who has to endure her family and school’s reluctance to appreciate a great mind. All seemed quite familiar to me being a young INTP (MBTI personality – introverted and intelligent) constantly being misunderstood and under valued by family and school. She reads a lot and is ahead academically compared to her classmates, really just wanting to frequent the school library. There is a funny but terribly no-nonsense head mistress that Matilda has to avoid while suffering her family’s disdain of her reading. I won’t spoil the rest of the story, you will have to discover that yourself.
The production was a musical with some great pieces played by a band below the stage. The scenes evoked all manner of emotions in me including: joy, sadness and laughter. I was an emotional wreck throughout but not all was sadness, some being elation. Performances were stunning, especially the girl playing Matilda who sang and acted through long scenes. The sets were varied and clever with intelligently applied lighting, the dance and performance routines were well choreographed. Everything was so well put together and engrossing that I couldn’t believe the first act was longer than I experienced, never a dull moment.
My children just loved relating their school experiences to those portrayed in the play. There will be a character that will remind you of someone from your childhood, for better or worse.
Just being in the theatre though was an experience, not much more expensive than going to the movies. Compared to the cinema you get a full cast of great actors, singers and performers supported by a real orchestra. The experience is heightened by audience participation and involvement, everybody applauding the great acts and clapping along to songs. It’s more real, you are there with the performers physically in front of you, very immersive.
A fantastic family experience that you won’t forget. That’s what matters though isn’t it, creating memories? Please go and see a theatre production if you haven’t yet, so much better than the movies. I highly recommend Matilda though, see it if you have a chance.