Matilda The Musical at the Wales Millennium Centre – Review

Kids on Swings

My son and I were invited to Matilda The Musical in exchange for our honest review.

Seen by over 8 million people and the winner of over 85 international awards, Matilda The Musical is the multi-award winning musical from the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Its now embarking on its first UK tour!

Matilda The Musical written by Dennis Kelly is inspired by one of our favourite books by Roald Dahl, Matilda. With original songs by Tim Minchin, Matilda The Musical tells the story of an extraordinary girl who is bright, brave and willing to do anything to help her friends.

As we entered the Wales Millennium Centre we were welcomed by festive decorations and Christmas trees.

Ethan was first to spot a Matilda figure made from Lego. Being a huge Lego fan, he absolutely loved it!

As we walked through the Wales Millennium Centre, we noticed more Lego Figures inspired by Roald Dahl characters. Ethan really liked Sophie from The BFG.

Boy with Lego
Ethan with Lego Sophie

After a walk around and chat with other bloggers and friends, we had a drink in the press room and took some fab photos to remember our night.

After photos, we took our seats in the Donald Gordon Theatre.

I didn’t know what to expect. To be honest I thought the musical would be a lot like the 1996 movie Matilda which starred Danny DeVito.

I was very wrong.

The stage set was simple throughout the whole of the performance with books, words and letters scattered about. I think a simple stage set was the intention for ease of changing scenes and for space to dance.

The audience was waiting patiently for the performance to start when suddenly young performers lightened up the stage! The opening song ‘Miracle’ got me swaying in my seat.

I was already blown away by the fantastic choreography and atmosphere around me.

After the first song we were introduced to Mr and Mrs Wormwood. Mrs Wormwood is unknowingly in labour and about to have a baby!

Now, when I first laid eyes upon Mr and Mrs Wormwood (played by Rebecca Thornhill and Sebastien Torkia) I didn’t know how to react!

Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman who played Matilda’s dim witted parents in the 1996 movie, played the characters so well, I think I just expected them to walk on stage.

Rebecca Thornhill and Sebastien Torkia had big boots to fill. And boy did they fill them!

The Wormwoods

Before I knew it, Mr Wormwood was entertaining me with his cheap suits and con man attitude.

Mrs Wormwood won me over with her ball room dancing skills, vain attitude and the gift of completely ignoring her daughter…Haha!!

Actor, Rebecca Thornhill (Mrs Wormwood) was fantastic and one that captivated me!! She took on her role effortlessly.

We watched as Matilda is born into a family that does not want her and follow her as she grows into a rather intelligent young lady.

Matilda was played by Scarlett Cecil. I was captivated by Scarlett! How could a little girl be so talented! Her talent was far beyond her years.

I really loved her acting ability, she was very professional and worked well with the adults.

In fact all the child actors worked well with the adults.

A great scene is one where the new kids are starting Crunchem Hall Primary School.

All child cast members got involved when singing ‘School Song’ and showed the audience just how creative they can be with a fantastic dance routine.

‘School Song’ was a perfect representation of what life is like attending Crunchem Hall!

Kids on Swings
School Life

Once inside the school, Matilda meets Amanda (Jessica Chalmers), Lavender (Chantelle Tonolete) and Bruce (Cuba Kamanu) they become firm friends.

One of the most memorable scenes in the school is the one when Amanda gets called up by Miss Trunchbull for having pig tails. All of a sudden the crowds gasp. They know what is about to happen.

Miss Trunchbull grabs Amanda by the pig tails and throws her around the stage, up up, up into the air. For a moment Amanda is out of sight completely from the audience, we all wonder where Amanda has gone?

All of a sudden Amanda lands back on the stage. The crowd cheered and clapped as Amanda stood up, unharmed and smiling. Please note – No children were harmed!

Another great school scene was with Bruce Bogtrotter and the chocolate cake. The scenes with the Chokey were pretty amazing too!

chocolate cake scene

I was really impressed by Carly Thoms who played Miss Honey. Carly made the character her own and made everyone in the audience love her.

Miss Honey is the teacher everyone wants and this was made clear on stage. I was also overwhelmed by Miss Honeys beautiful singing voice, I wanted to hear more.

The character of the night was of course Miss Trunchbull portrayed by the marvelous Craig Els.

Craig Els took on the monstrous role of Miss Trunchbull with ease. He had the audience shaking in their boots as soon as he walked on stage!

Towering above all the other cast members, Miss Trunchbull was truly brought to life through Craig Els.

Miss Trunchbull
Miss Trunchbull & Miss Honey

All the songs in Matilda The Musical were brilliant but my favourite song of the night was ‘I’m here’ which was sang with a new character – The Escapologist, played by Steffan Lloyd-Evans.

‘I’m here’ brought a conclusion to a story Matilda is telling throughout the performance to librarian Mrs Phelps – Played by the hilarious Michelle Chantelle Hopewell

Whilst entertaining Mrs Phelps with her story we were introduced to a few new characters.

The characters were brought to life with a very creative film sequence.

Ethan and I loved the film sequence. The stage lighting got creative and our attention was being drawn off the stage by lights to the ceiling.

Above, our eyes met an array of lights and colours which made us feel as though we were at the circus.

The whole performance was fantastic and had us entertained and intrigued. Although I will admit I was hoping for more scenes of Matilda’s telekinesis.

Matilda The Musical will be at the Wales Millennium Centre from December 4th 2018 till January 12th 2019.

You can book tickets HERE

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