MATILDA THE MUSICAL
The RSC’s brilliant award-winning musical version of Roald Dahl’s Matilda is a magnificent success.
Following a sensational sell-out season at The Courtyard Theatre, the RSC’s production of MATILDA THE MUSICAL moved to the Cambridge Theatre in London’s West End in October 2011.
Roald Dahl’s much-loved story bursts into life on stage in this new and innovative musical version by Dennis Kelly and award-winning musician and comedian Tim Minchin. Adults and children will be enchanted and thrilled by this brilliant story of a special young girl with an extraordinary imagination.
Evenings: Tuesday 7:00pm, Wednesday to Saturday 7.30pm
Matinees: Wednesday and Saturday 2.30pm, Sunday 3.000pm
Running Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Suitable for ages 6 and over. Children under the age of 6 will not be allowed in the theatre.
The star of the show is, of course, Matilda. This role is shared between four actresses and, on the night I attended, was performed by Zoe Simon. I’m sure the other three ladies are equally talented, but having seen Zoe in the role, I find it hard to imagine it played by anybody else. She perfectly embodied the contradictory mixture that is Matilda; lonely, plucky, vulnerable and strong all at the same time.
Then, of course, there are the songs, famously penned by the extraordinary Tim Minchin. And what songs they are – each of them perfectly crafted, catchy and memorable. The School Song and Naughty are particularly witty, and I’m Here will touch even the stoniest of hearts.
That’s the secret of Matilda’s success; it’s musical theatre of the old school. It’s not overly curated or self-consciously clever, it just goes hell for leather with barnstorming songs, breathtaking choreography, and a story with plenty of humour and real heart. Let’s hope it goes on enchanting children, and grown-up children, for many years to come.
Cambridge Theatre Earlham Street Seven Dials London WC2H 9HU
The Cambridge Theatre is an established West End venue, on the junction of Earlham Street facing Seven Dials, in the London Borough of Camden, constructed in 1929-30.
It was designed by Wimperis, Simpson and Guthrie together with an interior designed partly by Serge Chermayeff, (an interior designer with the firm of Waring & Gillow), as well as bronze friezes by sculptor Anthony Gibbons Grinling.
The entrance foyer is circular, with a Grinling’s bronze frieze, which has nude figures in exercise poses, this erotic theme continues on into the main foyer, which has dancing nudes, marble pilaster uplighters and concealed lighting.
The venue was built for the backer of plays, Bertie Meyer. The theatre is built primarily of steel and concrete and is notable for its elegant design.
In 1950 the venue was refurbished with the original gold and silver decor being (unfortunately) painted over in red, and candelabras and chandeliers added. However, in 1987, in order to restore the interior to the original d’cor, the theatre was again refurbished, on this occasion by Carl Toms. At the time of the photographs being taken on 9th September 2010, Chicago the musical was in residence at the Cambridge Theatre. Showing in 2014 is Matilda The Musical.