A world of wonder

A world of wonder

Matilda The Musical is a spellbinding production with a familiar theme

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
A world of wonder
(Photo courtesy of Tero Scenario)

There is less than a week left to see the multi-award-winning production of Matilda The Musical in Thailand. The show is currently running at Muangthai Rachadalai Theatre until Sunday.

Presented by Tero Scenario and GWB Entertainment in collaboration with the esteemed Royal Shakespeare Company, this production is a delightful and unforgettable experience for people of all ages. Drawing inspiration from Roald Dahl's cherished 1988 children's novel, Matilda The Musical breathes new life into the beloved tale by retaining its magic and charm while adding a fresh, innovative twist.

Like myself, for those who have fond childhood memories of the 1996 movie adaptation, the stage rendition offers a refreshing and enchanting experience that transports viewers into a world of imagination and wonder. Garnering a staggering 101 international awards, including 24 for Best Musical, this production stands as a testament to the universal appeal and enduring legacy of the novel.

Attending the opening night at Muangthai Rachadalai Theatre was a mesmerising experience, filled with wonder and awe of the storytelling. The musical's inventiveness shines through with surreal oversized props and whimsical set designs which create a stunning backdrop for the captivating narrative. From a giant library filled with books to machinery, every element of the production adds to the magical ambience, drawing the audience deeper into Matilda's world.

Myla Williams as Matilda. Tero Entertainment

At the heart of the story is Matilda Wormwood, a spirited young heroine with a boundless imagination and an indomitable spirit. Matilda Wormwood lives unhappily with a slack-jawed older brother and eccentric parents. Her father is a crooked used-car salesman father and her mother is obsessed with a tango competition and both bemoan the fact that their daughter is always reading. Also facing the tyranny of the school's abusive headmistress, Agatha Trunchbull, Matilda's journey is one of resilience, empowerment, and self-discovery. As she navigates the challenges of her unconventional upbringing, Matilda discovers her inner strength and courage and ultimately finds the power to stand up against injustice and make her voice heard.

Crafted by the masterful hands of Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by the talented Tim Minchin under the direction of Matthew Warchus, the production boasts stellar performances and exquisite design. The choice of sound and music enhances the experience, transporting the audience into Matilda's world with evocative melodies.

The cast delivers standout performances, with Myla Williams shining in the titular role of Matilda. She brings her character to life with sass, charm and a fierce determination. Matthew Rowland infuses humour and charisma into the role of Matilda's crooked father, while Emily Squibb delivers poignant portrayals of Matilda's mother. Gemma Scholes has touching moments as the kindly but cowed schoolteacher, Miss Honey. Some of my favourite scenes were when Matilda and Miss Honey are together as they were quite heartfelt, and I'm sure it will bring the audience to tears. Together, they form a dynamic ensemble that captivates and delights.

Gemma Scholes as Miss Honey. Tero Entertainment

The junior ensemble, comprised of talented young performers, adds an extra layer of charm and energy to the production, infusing each scene with infectious enthusiasm and vitality. Their performances in numbers like School Song and Revolting Children are nothing short of spectacular, showcasing their exceptional talent and stage presence.

With public-school sadism, horrid parents, bullying friends, this material pushes a lot of buttons, even in modern society. Every element of the concept and design is invaluable, and the wizard behind this theatre is Warchus whose attention to detail carries through to a lovely curtain-call surprise.

Matilda is a kids' musical, not a musical that happens to be about a kid. As such, it may only attract young spectators and die-hard Dahl fans. That would be a shame though since Matilda The Musical is witty and thought-provoking. Its exploration of universal themes such as resilience, empowerment and the power of imagination resonates deeply with audiences of all ages, making it a truly unforgettable theatrical experience.

Matilda The Musical is running until Sunday. Tickets are priced from 1,000 baht to 5,500 baht and available via thaiticketmajor.com.

 

Myla Williams and Gemma Scholes in Matilda The Musical. Tero Entertainment

Tero Entertainment

Tero Entertainment

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