Anyone that knows me, knows very well that I cannot contain my excitement when I am due for a trip to one of London’s brilliant theatre shows.
On Thursday 8th January, I was heavily anticipating 5pm. I was eager to get out of work and start my fun filled evening with my family, complete with good food and good laughs. Always the case when we’re altogether!
Ever since my lovely aunty told me that her birthday/Christmas present to me would be a ticket to see Matilda with herself, my other aunty and the kiddies, I was beyond excited! The tricky part though, was that the kids weren’t in on the surprise like I was, so I was challenged with harbouring this top secret piece of information until December 25th! I thought it would be easy enough to keep schtum, I’m an adult afterall! But it was much harder than I thought. I’m a lover of the theatre and Matilda had been on my list of shows to see for a long, long while! I was practically bursting – quite like poor Brucey helping himself to Miss Trunchbull’s chocolate cake!
Unfortunately, I haven’t got many pictures for this post. I abide by proper theatre rules and etiquette – phones off (okay, fine! Mine actually goes on silent, but it’s hidden away at all times), no photography and be respectful of the other people around you who have paid good money to be there. There is nothing worse than people treating the theatre the same they would a cinema, or their own homes – talking consistently during the performance, constant rustling of crisp packets/sweet wrappers, slurping of a drink through a straw right when there’s around a smidgen of it left, kicking the person in front of you’s chair – just no! Don’t do those. Ever.
In the words of Matilda herself – “That’s not right!“
I could not praise the cast enough for what a brilliant show they put on! As I said at the beginning, I am a theatre buff. I’ve seen quite a few shows and have firm favourites. One initial, teensy, minor worry I had about this particular show was the children. Would they be able to hold their notes? Would they be convincing in their roles? I had seen some shows before and been let down by the younger cast members and seen some where I was blown away by them (Billy Elliot being a prime example of the latter). However, there was no need for any sort of doubt. I was completely in awe of the children and their abilities. They did a spectacular job of being in control of the performance and certainly ran the show; performing complicated and fun dance routines to perfection and singing wonderfully together as well as independently.
Our Matilda was played by a charming little girl called Lottie Sicilia. Her performance was utterly faultless, she was perfectly in tune, beautifully well-spoken and a delight to watch.
Miss Trunchbull, funnily enough, is played by a man. Admittedly, I was a little sceptical of this; thinking it would be like watching a man in drag, sort of pantomime-ish, but again, boy was I wrong! Craig Els gives a terrifically comedic yet brilliantly dark performance as the infamous Head Mistress. He projects a wonderful air of authority and elegance.
The loving and kind hearted Miss Honey was played by Hayley Flaherty. Again, a wonderful performer with great stage presence.
All in all, an absolutely fantastic cast. One of the best I have seen on London’s West End.
(I’ll be posting the link to their website at the bottom of this post, so have a browse!).
There are some extremely catchy songs throughout the show. I had one particular line stuck in my head during the performance and it hasn’t gone away just yet! It’s from a song called Naughty, which if you’ve watched things like The Royal Variety performance, you may actually find quite familiar. My favourites were Naughty, When I Grow Up and Revolting. Listen out for those!
The set design was something else aswell.
Set and staging was a stunning sight. So many different aspects – from classroom desks appearing from blocks in the wooden floor, to giant gates for the front of the school being used as a climbing frame, to gymnastics equipment being used for the P.E lesson scene, to the book cases in the library, to swings appearing from above for a very special song number. Every new set that was put forward to the audience was fantastic and really brought the show to life.
I would highly recommend anyone to see this show. With children or without. Whether you’ve scene the movie or not. Just go!
It’ll be a fab evening and one that you’ll remember for a very, very long time!