Growing up, I was a huge Roald Dahl fan. I completely loved his books - James and the Giant Peach, The Twits, George's Marvelous Medicine, I've been to the museum numerous times, and watched the films to death. Anjelica Huston in The Witches still gives me nightmares...seriously:
My absolute favourite book growing up, however, was Matilda, so sense my excitement when a very good friend of mine offered me a ticket to see it at the Cambridge Theatre this week. I'll admit, I was expecting to be disappointed - it's always the way with adaptations. They hardly ever hold up to the book - One Day, Pride and Prejudice (Keira Knightly version not so much Jennifer Ehle), Beowulf are good examples.
Boy was I wrong! It was absolutely fantastic! Based on a children's book it had the whole audience (mostly made up of the over 20's btw) terrified, clapping and laughing. This was the first time that I've seen an audience give a standing ovation.
The set was gorgeous - made from letters and books. It will always fascinate me as to how designers can come up with sets, how they organise the stage to create seemingly different locations.
The songs were were catchy and entertaining. The music for the show was written by Tim Minchin, which works so well. Roald Dahl's stories can be so dark that it works to have someone like Minchin, known for his musical comedy, writing them. My only criticism, and it's minuscule in context with the amazing evening I had, was that sometimes it was hard to listen to the lyrics. That's it. That's the only critique I can offer.
The acting was brilliant - the children played their parts so well, and were well cast. The star of the show without a doubt though was Miss Trunchball played by Bertie Cavell. The moment he was on stage he had us laughing, scared, shocked and awed.
Anyway I just had to share it with you - if you're looking for an entertaining evening out bear Matilda in mind.