BWW Review: MATILDA THE MUSICAL, Edinburgh Playhouse
Based on the much-loved book by Roald Dahl, Matilda is the story of an extraordinary girl. Unappreciated by her parents, at home Matilda is called all sorts of horrible names and they make it clear they only have time for her dim-witted brother.
As a very lonely child, Matilda spends her days at the local library, teaching herself to read and absorbing all the stories that she can. When she starts school, her teacher Miss Honey discovers that she's exceptionally bright and tries to convince headmistress Miss Trunchbull of this. However, Trunchbull rules with an iron fist and firmly believes that all children are maggots.
For tonight's performance, the role of Matilda was played by Scarlett Cecil who was nothing short of magical. It's a demanding role but Cecil played both the headstrong and naughty side of Matilda's personality beautifully alongside the vulnerability of a child who just wants to be loved.
Stealing the show was Elliot Harper as Agatha Trunchbull. Harper is every bit as terrifying as Roald Dahl originally wrote, towering above all of the children and Miss Honey. Having a man play this role leaves it open to becoming almost like a pantomime baddie but Harper doesn't allow that to happen and balances the terror and comedy perfectly.
The music for Matilda The Musical was written by Tim Minchin and for the most part is incredibly infectious. There are a couple of filler songs but you barely notice them up against the likes of "Naughty", "When I Grow Up" and "Revolting Children" which will stick in your head for weeks to come.
Littered with books and alphabet blocks, the set for Matilda The Musical is stunning. While this is a touring production, it doesn't appear that anything has been scaled down from the West End production and the scene changes and movement onstage is seamless.
While the original story of Matilda is surprisingly dark, this musical is a joyous, vibrant and foot-stomping adaptation bursting with magic from start to finish.
Matilda The Musical runs at the Edinburgh Playhouse until Saturday 27th April.
Photo credit: Manuel Harlan