Show Stoppers Column: Mad about Matilda The Musical

Nancy Stevens previews the musical theatre show and global phenomenon taking over MK Theatre this month.

Matilda The Musical is the BIG show at Milton Keynes Theatre this month.

Winner of 85 international awards, including 16 for Best Musical, the RSC’s touring production plays from June 5 to June 30. It will be accompanied by a new education programme for young people.

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. The show begins with a chorus of children boasting about being their parents’ miracles.

The ballroom dancing obsessed Mrs Wormwood gives birth to a baby girl, Matilda.

Matilda – an avid reader who is dark, clever and funny – lives unhappily with her parents and older, gormless brother Michael.

The Wormwoods are oblivious to her abilities and frequently mock her. Left to her own devices, Matilda spends all her time at the library.

She discovers she has telekinetic powers and uses these and yearns to attend school, but her parents refuse. In retaliation, she starts playing tricks on her father.

He relents and lets Matilda attend a run-down school, Crunchem Hall, run by Agatha Trunchbull, the tyrannical principal.

Matilda discovers Trunchbull’s violent nature, who punishes students by locking them in ‘Chokey’, a cupboard lined with sharp objects.

Fortunately, her teacher Miss Honey likes Matilda, recognising her incredible genius.

Moved by her mistreatment at home, she asks if Matilda can stay with her.

Meanwhile, Mr Wormwood has made himself an enemy of the Russian Mafia by trying to swindle them but they are impressed and moved by Matilda’s intellect and agree not to harm the Wormwoods.

Mr Wormwood allows Matilda to live with Miss Honey.

“Trunchbull is the kind of villainess children can enjoy, because she is too ridiculous to be taken seriously and yet really is mean and evil,” said Catherine Mallyon, RSC Executive Director. “We are thrilled that our home-grown miracle has become a global phenomenon.”

Listen to Nancy Stevens’ award winning local arts show on Secklow Sounds 105.5FM on Sunday nights from 6pm-8pm. Listen again at spreaker.com/show/stevens-on-sunday.

This column was published in the June 2018 issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Read the full magazine above or by clicking on this link.

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