Matilda the Musical

Matilda_AU_James MorganMatilda is magic. Not of the tricks kind (although there are lots of those) but of the genius musical kind. The kind that has a full house on its feet giving a standing ovation for minutes on end. The kind that leaves you weeping from the sheer brilliance you just witnessed.

Matilda is magic because a 5-year-old girl takes centrestage and sings about taking control of her life by being kind and demanding that kindness in return. “Nobody but me is going to change my story,” she sings. “Even though you’re little you can do a lot, you mustn’t let a little thing like little stop you.” Matilda is more motivational and moving than our current Prime Minister; inspiring positive change and compassion within its audience. Matilda for PM?

Tim Minchin has written one of the greatest musicals that exist. That isn’t an exaggeration. He is witty, musical and really, really funny. Any audience member – from 4 to 104 – will love this show. The whole family will heave with laughter and be awed into stillness. Minchin is Roald Dahl’s musical equivalent. His cheeky but poignant storytelling is on point as we watch a little girl from an unloving family transform the people around her by her keen mind and unselfish love.

Australia’s Matilda premiere showcases RSC’s original production in a beautiful light. James Millar steals the show as Agatha Trunchbull but the brightest stars on stage are the large children’s cast. Here, young triple threats take on a large responsibility with dozens of scenes, songs and dances and prove just how much responsibility and excellence young people can demonstrate on such a large scale. Never underestimate the power of children is a message that rings loud and clear in this production.

Anyone – really, anyone – will love this musical. Matilda illustrates the magic of theatre and the power of storytelling. It is magic onstage. Go see it.

Matilda the Musical
Sydney Lyric Theatre, Pirrama Road, Sydney
Season continues to 20 December 2015

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Image: Cast of Matilda the Musical – photo by James Morgan

Review: Maryann Wright

Maryann Wright is a performer and writer. She has a Diploma of Musical Theatre from Brent Street and a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) from The University of Sydney. Recent performance credits include Subject To ChangeHeart of a Dog (Australian premiere), Carrie (Squabbalogic) and Urinetown (Brent Street). Journalism credits include The Guardian, and Girlfriend Magazine.