Which supper power would you prefer to have?
Long before Marvel Super Heroes the Egyptians created semi-gods, people with extraordinary powers; pointing that out I am trying to say that humans have always admired the notion of super power. Call it a childhood dream but I steal wish I was invisible sometimes, especially during some boring meeting at work or awkward encounter in the public transport. Sometimes I wish I could fly to avoid traffic back home or even better, teleport myself directly at home. Childhood dreams adapted more to the 21st century lifestyle than I could have imagined.
Cambridge Theatre is in the Really Useful Theatre group, covered in my Adelphi theatre post, recently rebranded to LW Theatres (Lloyd Webber Theatres).
Cambridge Theatre opened in 1930 and is one of the “youngest” theatres on the West End. The size of the theatre is comfortable for musicals and intimate enough for plays. The Cambridge Theatre went through two major refurbishments in 1950 and 1987. In 2005, Andrew Lloyd Webber acquired the Cambridge.
Play starts with a birthday party where all the kids sing they are miracles for their parents and the parents are proud of them. Meanwhile, in the delivery room, ballroom dancing obsessed Mrs. Wormwood gives birth to a much unwanted girl, Matilda. Matilda grows up with his used cars salesman father, eccentric mother and TV-addict older brother. She is abused by her whole family. Matilda is an avid reader, but her family does not appreciate her stories, so she tells them to a librarian, Mrs. Phelps. Matilda is sent to school, where a tyrant headmistress, Miss Trunchbull does not appreciate Matilda’s talent and demands from children to abide to strict rules established by her. Matilda gets some comfort from her teacher, Miss Honey but even Miss Honey is afraid of Miss Trunchbull and fails to confront her. Miss Honey visits Matilda’s parents to suggest putting Matilda in an advanced class, but discovers Matilda’s mother cares the least about her daughter’s education. Matilda decides to punish Miss Trunchbull for her cruelty towards children and during one of gruelling physical education lessons uses her ability to move objects to put a newt on Miss Trunchbull’s leg, the newt starts climbing up and Miss Trunchbull storms off the school yard. After the incident Matilda shows her super power to Miss Honey and Miss Honey invites Matilda to her house. Matilda opens up to Miss Honey about her parents’ cruel treatment towards her and Miss Honey tells Matilda story of her childhood. She was brought up by her aunt, after her mother’s tragic death and her father’s suicide; her aunt was cruel to her and took her house away in a fraudulent deal. Matilda guesses that Miss Honey’s aunt is Miss Trunchbull and her childhood story is the story Matilda has been telling to the librarian, Mrs. Phelps. Matilda decides to take revenge on Miss Trunchball and during one of the lessons uses her super power to write with a chalk on a blackboard as if it is written by the ghost of Miss Honey’s father, ordering Miss Trunchball to give the house back to Miss Honey and leave the school and the town. Miss Trunchball disappears from town; Miss Honey gets her property back and invites Matilda to live with her. Matilda’s parents have to leave the town as her father cheated in a deal, which turns out to involve Russian Mafia. So Matilda moves in with Miss Honey and they live happily from that day on.
Matilda the musical is based on the 1988 children’s novel of the same name by Roald Dahl. It was adapted to stage by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin. Matilda premiered in Stratford-upon-Avon and after twelve-week trial run was transferred to the West End, Cambridge Theatre in 2011 and to Broadway in 2013.
Director: Matthew Warchus
Producers: Royal Shakespeare Company, André Ptaszynski, Denise Wood
07980 535 523; 020 3362 0408
Bought my ticket on LW Theatres’ website. £52.5 for a middle seat in the dress circle. The view was really good, but I would say that’s an expensive ticket for a family show, where people bring kids. But then again all the family shows are expensive (consider the Lion King).
The running time is 2 hours 40 minutes.
The Theatre Rat