In the year, 2009, Royal Shakespeare Company would make an announcement that it had the intention to adapt the novel, Matilda. Employing Dennis Kelly as the playwright, Tim Minchin as the musical's lyricist and composer and with direction provided by Matthew Warchus, the musical would obtain some of the best in the realm of musical entertainment. The orchestrations for Matilda the Musical would be provided by Christ Nightingale, the set design would be done by Rob Howell and the special effects and illusions would be done by Paul Kieve.
The musical would open at Courtyard Theatre in December of 2010, which is located in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. Audience raced to purchase Matilda the Musical tickets after the previews had ended on November 9 of the same year. In the year, 2011, the musical began a debut at Cambridge Theatre in West End. It was originally supposed to have previews starting on the 18th of October of 2011, but because of installation and structural problems at Cambridge Theater, the performances did not begin until the 25th of October.
This in effect pushed the opening night to November 24th. The musical started in the city of London and began receiving exceptional reviews. In October of 2011, the musical received the Best Musical and Best Actor (for Bertie Carvel) at Theatre Awards UK. In November 2011, the musical won the Ned Sherrin Award, for being the Best Musical. It was a part of The Evening Standard Awards. The musical would be nominated for a total of 10 awards during the Olivier Awards of 2012. The Four Matildas would perform the song, "Naughty" at the awards. The musical ended up receiving a total of 7 including Best Actor in a Musical, Best Actress in a Musical, Best Set Design as well as Best Sound Design. As aforesaid, it was record number for any musical show in the 36 years of the event.
In April of the year, 2012, both actress Hayley Flaherty as well as actor Steve Furst would take of the roles of Miss Honey and Mr. Wormwood. Two of the initial Matildas in London (Ingram and Kiely) would also be replaced by Isobelle Molloy as well as Jade Marner. Beginning in the month of July 2012, David Leonard began playing Miss Trunchbull and Annette McLaughlin would take over the character of Mrs. Worwood starting in August of the same year. The production would enjoy the reception of 4 new young women to play the role of Matilda. These four young women were Lucy Mae Beacock, Lara Wollington, Hayley Canham and Chloe Hawthorn. In November of the same year, there was a performance of the musical for ITV. It was noted as the 100th Royal Variety Performance. The performance was shown on ITV on the 3rd of December. March of 2013 saw Hayley Canham vacate the role of Matilda. She would be replaced by Cristina Fray and Elise Blake. Beacock, Wollington and Hawthorn would remain in their respective roles.
In late February of the year, 2012, there was an announcement that the musical would transfer to Broadway at the onset of 2013 in the spring. There was intense pressure for Matilda the Musical to receive an American update. In July 2012, there was an announcement that it would open in April 2013 at Shubert Theatre with previews beginning in early March of the same year. Audiences immediately began lining up to buy Matilda the Musical tickets as a result.
The original cast member Bertie Carvel would revise the role he had played - Miss Trunbull with Ted Wilson and Lauren Ward continuing following their performances in the production in West End. In November 2012, AP (Associated Press) stated that Sophia Gennusa, who was 9 years old; Oona Laurence, who was 10 years old as well as Milly Shapiro and Bailey Ryon would all be making a debut on Broadway playing alternate the lead role of the character, Matilda. The cost to transfer was 16 million dollars. In April 2013 on the 11th of the month, Sophia Gennusa started playing Matilda. There were nominal changes made from the production in the city of London. Some of the lyrics were changed to better suit what was deemed the ear of Americans. The opening on Broadway also began a pre show curtain as well as an overture. An upcoming US National Tour was announced in June 2013 prompting musical enthusiasts to consider buying Matilda the Musical tickets knowing that they could potentially see the creativity of the novel come to life.
Musical Numbers and Reception
The musical numbers of the musical include "Naughty" performed by Matilda; "The Chokey Chant" performed by the Bullies, "Loud" performed by Rudolpho, Mrs. Wormwood and company; "Bruce" performed by several children; "This Little Girl" performed by Miss Honey; "I'm Here" performed by Matilda and the escapologist and "My House" sand by Matilda, Miss Honey and the escapologist. The performance in London runs at total of 2 hours and 40 minutes with a 20 minute intermission (interval). The production on Broadway clocks at the same running time, with a 15 minute intermission. An album done by the cast of the Stratford original production became available in the month of October 2011. It became available as both a download digitally and on CD.
There is a hidden track on both formats. The orchestra for the production on Broadway encompasses 13 people: 2 keyboard players, one player of the clarinet, flute and alto sax; a player of the clarinet, bass clarinet and the tenor sax; a two trumpet players; a trombone and bass trombone player; 1 guitars player; 1 violin player; 1 viola and violin player; a cellist; a player on the bass; and a drummer.
The version in Stratford was noted as a brilliant masterpiece and one of the best musicals in Britain since Billy Elliot. Many critics have also noted it as a mix of intoxicating playfulness and magic that sparkles optimism and positivity. The songs were noted as infectious and that the lyrics of Tim Minchin are so tempting to write down because they come fast and thick. The London production was noted as being a poignant and funny production filled with energy and wit and that anyone who missed it would be a fool. The production in New York (on Broadway) was noted as a rejoicing and a gloriously smart musical perhaps since The Lion King. The show was stated to be a showstopper and a Broadway faith restorer. The London production won many awards such as Best Musical at the Critics Circle Theatre Awards and both Best Choreographer and London Newcomer of the Year at the Whatsonstage.com Awards in the year, 2011. In the year, 2013, the show won Best Book of a Musical, Best Scenic Design, Best Lighting Design, at the Tony Awards. It also received the Tony Honors for Excellence in Theater Award. Tim Minchin stated in an interview in June of the year, 2013, that a possible film adaptation of the musical would be created within the next four to five years. The actress, Mara Wilson, who played the lead role in the 1996 film, noted that she would like to appear in a cameo if the musical is adapted to the silver screen.
The musical has many partners for its Broadway show including 54 Below, Community Restaurant, Roald Dahl, Tim Minchin.com, Penguin Group, which is the leader worldwide in the publishing of children's books; Google, American Airlines, and American Express. Fans of the show can get the latest in news and information by engaging with the show on Twitter, Google+, Facebook as well as Instagram. Audience viewers have said that if anyone is interested in seeing the musical that it is best to plan ahead as much as possible given the popularity of it. Matilda the Musical based on many reviews seems to be unlike anything that has come from on the musical stage in quite some time. From the sets to the costumes to the music to the lighting, it captures what Roald Dahl hoped to capture in the novel that was written in the year, 1988.
Get your Matilda THe Musical Tickets today!