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Matilda the Musical

August 18, 2012

Mmmmm. I am hard to please, God knows. But so are most proper critics and they all seem to have adored this “fabulous’ show. So I had high hopes this would be a new Billy Elliot or Lion King – a kids show that transcends age and blows my socks off. Sadly, it wasn’t.

I don’t like child actors as a genral rule – all that stage-school over enunciation, smiling and jazz hands make me want to punch them and the first number played to that perfectly. But it was meant to – all these kids who are spoilt and considered so precious and special by their parents -to contrast with the derision heaped upon Matilda. Who I have to say I liked very much. I thought she carried her role well. And her story telling to the librarian was wonderful – and gave us the nearest thing to emotion all evening. Her little friend Lavender was endearing too. But the rest? Nah.

We didn’t really get the connection to or between the characters that would have given this more depth and feeling. Made us care more about them. Her parents were grotesque but not funny, Miss Honey insipid but not endearing, her brother just stupid. Miss Trunchbull stole every scene. She was brilliantly played -the pantomime dame in a PE kit. Marvellous.

The set is great, -wonderful classroom, gym and swing scenes. the choreography inventive and rehearsed to within millimetres. The lyrics may be funny but often drowned out by the music, but the big tunes sadly missing. Only one real big number – the rest easily forgettable.

So for me it was impressive in its design but lost the emotion and the magic of the heart of the story. Just scraped three stars.

Miss Trunchbull in full flow. Brilliant

 

 

Post Script –  after receiving a number of negative comments for this review, I found another blog who also didn’t fall all over themselves in joy at it. So I am not the only one! http://www.theatres.tv/reviews/matilda-the-musical-review/

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18 Responses to “Matilda the Musical”

  1. Steve W Says:

    Yeah – that’s a great view isn’t it!!??

    Instead of caring, disciplined kids with a passion and desire in life, they would be better off playing X-Box and roaming the Streets mugging people, getting into gangs etc etc??

    Whether its Sport OR Performing OR ANYTHING, it is something that makes them a better person. Something that I am sure that one day you have ranted about!

    If you didn’t enjoy it then fine – some do and some don’t. The fact that it won a record amount of Oliviers says that you are in the minority but to slate ‘Theater School kids’ in that way shows incredible ignorance and to say that your desire is to ‘punch’ says that its a shame that you didn’t have the same good upbringing that they are enjoying.

    You have displayed Ignorance of the highest order and sadly a brilliant display of everything that is wrong with society today – think before you open your mouth next time – because saying that you would like to ‘punch’ my daughter, may, one day result in somebody ‘punching’ you!


    • OOh, touchy touchy Steve! I’ve rattled the cage of a stage school dad! Glad you can agree I’m allowed my opinion – and I concede I am in the minority so I don’t quite see why you are getting over exercised about one person’s view that – hold the front page – lots of children at stage school overact. Maybe yours doesn’t. If you actually read my post you can see that I said I didn’t like child actors as a general rule because of the stereotypical stage school acting. And went on to say how that first number played to that perfectly because it was meant to. Gawd knows where you got the idea i might think it better for kids to be in gangs than stage schools (or theater [sic] schools. I blogged about a professional production that had taken my hard earned cash. This was no end of term parents’ love-in. This is a money making operation in the West End. In fact i gave it three stars – hardly derisory.
      I heed your assertion I gave a brilliant display of everything that is wrong with society today and thank you for it.

      • Steve W Says:

        This my last post on the matter as I simply don’t have time for sad bitter old ladies with an abundance of ignorance – suffice to say that you may wish to heed something else – No 2 on the list of what your Dad taught you ‘Everybody deserves respect’


      • Couldn’t agree more. He was a top bloke.

  2. Alli Says:

    Loved this show…everything about it..I have not 1 criticism…agree the trunch is hilarious…Matilda is amazing of course but I have to disagree with everything else you say…but wouldn’t it be a boring world if we all agreed about everything….I do hate the boring yawn yawn comments about stage school kids?!?!? Why is it kids into sports get supported and applauded…kids in theatre get over critiqued and parents called pushy or whatever…load of baloney and before you ask…yup..I’m the parent of a stage school kid…a grammar school kid and 2 church school kids…and I consider all for of them precious and special….but there are times when, i have to agree with you, I feel like punching them…but it’s nowt to do with jazz hands!!!!


    • hahaha brilliant Alli – thanks for commenting .I agree it would be a boring world if we all thought as one! We too are parents of kids who did drama school on saturdays so had our fair share of jazz hands and interpretive dance routines over the years!
      I think the difference here is that this is a professional production- put on to make money. I am much more forgiving of school or other amateur productions. And I don’t think my review was completely scathing – you should see some of my others !! 🙂
      Perhaps kids in to sports get applauded and supported because it is a healthy life choice however good they are at it, and they haven’t taken £60 off me to watch them? (If you are paying that kind of money you are watching elite athletes).
      let me klnow if your child makes it to the West End and I’ll keep a lookout for them!

      • Alli Says:

        Yes…sport is healthy…as is the wonderful experience of being on stage…amateur…professional….sweeping it…it’s all about finding a balance in life….also if you hate child actors why go and see Matilda??? How completely unintelligent and stupid…oh and thanks for asking, my child has taken part in several west end shows…very very lucky girl!!! Lovely chatting…really makes it a fun evening!!


      • Wow! Well done to your daughter!
        I went because I have seen some great productions with children in- Billy Elliot being a particular favourite, and Matilda has had fantastic reviews so it seemed a good idea. I go to see lots of shows as love live performance, but inevitably I will prefer some to others. And similarly will prefer some performers to others, be they adults or children. It’s just how it goes with something so subjective. I reviewed as I found and thank you for your feedback- conversation makes the world go round!

      • sio Says:

        I’m slightly puzzled why you think being a triple threat may be considered an unhealthy life choice….

      • Alli Says:

        Of course I agree…but there are ways of critiquing children…I personally didn’t like the lion king but I wouldn’t over critique the kids in it as they are children…they are professional..they work hard and they enjoy themselves…but most importantly they’re kids…and always being given the same old same old about stage school blah blah blah is just boring and lazy I feel…most of the kids in Matilda aren’t stage school…some are..some aren’t and I defy anyone to choose out of the line up who are and who aren’t….the are rehearsed and they are directed…I personally feel the rav have done a marvellous job…would I like to see a completely child cast in any show other than bugsy….nah not for me….but to generalise as you do in your review is just old and boring…stage school blah blah of the past….go visit a stage school or 3…you’ll find they have moved on xxx


      • I can see a fundamental difference of approach here. When I go to see a professional production I don’t make allowances for anything in my reviews. Whoever the players are I simply evaluate based on my enjoyment and entertainment. I don’t think, “wow I can see they’ve worked hard, that is entertaining.” I simply evaluate my reaction to the end result. I think if you reread my review you’ll see I was saying I don’t usually like child actors because many of them are stage schooly. I don’t care whether they have actually been to stage school or not, what I care about is the end result. What i see and feel in front of me. Just like I think most actors in Enders Enders are rubbish. But that doesn’t mean to say I can’t appreciate the great ones when they appear- in fact they are highlighted because they contrast so starkly with the others. I thought the Matilda we saw was good, as was Lavender. I appreciated the choreography and could see they had been rehearsed hard and effectively. I feel you don’t like my objectivity in not making allowances for the children. No allowance is made in the price of the seat for the fact half the cast are kids so in my world they have to be judged by the same parameters- and that is entertainment value for me.

  3. sio Says:

    I think I must have seen an entirely different show, probably the same one the other critics also were at how odd! In this show the rest of the classmates and characters worked tirelessly and hAVE often been overlooked despite this. They supported and entertained their cotton socks off, and lead the rebellion, as Matilda wouldn’t have done it alone.
    The Trunch is the guiding star, but it is a show which is a sum of is parts full of high energy and the promise of good conquering evil. It doesn’t take itself entirely seriously. I cannot believe anyone could suggest Ms Honey is insipid- as singing quality is as acting superb.
    Oh well each to their own, obviously not to your taste, but good to hear that you thought Matilda actress carried role well, at least almost a positive, however unenthusiastic sounding.


    • Thanks for commenting – and I agree the cast worked hard – the choreography was spotlessly executed. And I am in the minority not being bowled over by it, but that’s entertainment – it is down to personal taste in the end and we obviously differ!

  4. andy holgate Says:

    What rubbish! This is by far the best West End show that has been produced in recent times. Easy throw away comments such as these above show an obvious ignorance of musical inspiration and lyric writing. I suggest you stop slating children and adults who have worked so hard to put on this amazing show. Full house every show tells it’s own story.


    • Hi Andy, thanks for taking the time to reply – I can see your a big Tim Minchin fan! I don’t doubt the hard work put in, but am afraid it didn’t ignite for me, although I agree there were parts that were good.. Simply because i disagree with you doesn’t show an obvious ignorance, it shows a difference of opinion.
      Glad you (and thousands of others!) do enjoy the show so much. each to their own!

    • Alli Says:

      I disagree…but can’t be bothered to discuss it anymore lol…I’m bored and the sun is out…but I would suggest when Charlie and the chocolate factory opens…avoid it like the plague because rumour has it, children, will be involved!!!! All the best with your erm reviewing lol


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