Review – Matilda, RSC Courtyard Theatre, Stratford upon Avon

Sunday 5 December 2010

The Whingers were brought up on a diet of Enid Blyton and The Water Babies so there were mixed feelings about trailing all the way to Stratford Upon Avon to see the RSC’s new musical Matilda, based on the Roald Dahl story. So mixed, in fact, that Phil ended up not going.

Which was a great shame because it would have turned out to be well worth the perilous prospect of his enduring two hour car journey into the Midlands with Andrew at the wheel.

For it transpires that if you put comedian/musician Tim Minchin in charge of the words and lyrics, get Rob Howell to design it, put Matthew Warchus at the helm you get something quite remarkable.

Especially if you put  WEW-fave Bertie Carvel (Rupert Cadell in Rope at the Almeida) in a gym skirt and take away his neck. His turn as the wicked, hammer-throwing headmistress Miss Trunchbull (With just a touch of a  Alastair Sim’s Miss-Fritton-gone-bad in the gestures) is a joy to behold.

Another WEW fave Josie Walker (Side By Side By Sondheim, Corrie!) turns up as Matilda’s vulgar mother has terrific fun in a bad wig.

The songs – as you would hope from Mr Minchin – are tuneful, memorable, witty and intelligent. There are tricks from Paul Kieve, vaulting over a gym horse and the consumption of a giant chocolate cake on stage. The choreography by Peter Darling is delightful.

And then, and then, there are the children. Usually this is where it all falls apart for the Whingers. But they were astonishingly good. Whichever one of the three Matildas Andrew saw, she was extraordinary. Indeed they were all quite, quite remarkable.

Running out of adjectives that basically mean “very good” so will stop now. Except to say.

Amazing stuff. Roll on the transfer. Roll on the cast recording.


Rating score 5-5 our cups overfloweth


10 Responses to “Review – Matilda, RSC Courtyard Theatre, Stratford upon Avon”

  1. Ian Shuttleworth Says:

    You need to change your rating graphics for the festive season and make the wine mulled.

  2. garethjames Says:

    ….and perhaps some glitter balls on the glasses?

  3. Toby Says:

    Adrianna Bertola was the Matilda that we saw: she was seriously impressive, especially given the weight of material she had to carry.
    I also think Kuan Frye deserves a mention for his Bruce Bogtrotter – his delivery was hilariously dry.

  4. Susan Says:

    From the very start a truly exceptional production with originality and much to delight all age groups. Really enjoyed Paul Kaye’s performance as Mr Wormwood. Agree that Bertie Carvel just fantastic as were the children. As my friend said, no need to travel to the West End when a show as good as this on our doorstep.

  5. Harry King Says:

    Adrianna Bertola was incredible- the most perfect Matilda!

  6. […] some washing and chivvied children, and then we picked up M&S to drive up to Stratford to see Matilda Lunch first, in a fancy pub – very nice meat […]

  7. Sally Infleton Says:

    Wow!!! SO sad it has finished, adrianna bertola should transfer to the west end with it. I’ve seen all 3 matildas, just loved her rendition. Stunning, adorable and perfect matilda. Fingers crossed for the cast recording, loved her vocals on Naughty and Quiet!

  8. Avon Swan Says:

    I caught the last performance with Adrianna, but had also seen Josie and Kerry too. All three were excellent and I think it would be fitting for the RSC to immediately release a recording of “naughty” featuring all 3 singing together… would be a unique way to celebrate the achievement of this fantastic show and amazing contribution from the three girls. Also it would generate even more publicity in the lead up to the West End transfer later this year.

  9. […] for best musical), and garnered breathy, over-excited reviews from pretty much every critic and blogger out there for its Stratford premiere last year.We went expecting big things, and we weren’t […]

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