Matilda!!!! More Roald Dahl incredibleness. Spoilers abound, you have been warned.
First things first the use of the lighting is supreme. It is precise and deliberate and wonderfully bold and dramatic. It highlights, it underlines, it throws into focus, it describes, it narrates, it motions. Wow! Artistic glory. The use of the light and strobes and shadows… The great part is that it really encourages you to let your senses react and guide your reaction and thereafter trigger your imagination, which is what Roald Dahl is about!
The set is great! Minimalistic I feel, compared to the grandeur of the Lion King set… Well. Matilda doesn’t set out to kill with the set I guess, though it IS impressive. Just what is necessary, not over the top. Whatever the set contains though is used very effectively and efficiently: economy of performance. Now the performative elements! Wow! Super high energy and the movements of the dance give a very visceral kick and power to the performance. The kids are amazing… Young as they are, they are super! Professional and disciplined and just intense. The Matilda actress is very interesting… The character is a super genius, but the truth is that the actress is also genuinely extremely talented. What a commentary on the talents of kids. Some fascinating parallels going on here. Also there’s quite a bit to be said about teaching and how to deal (and not to deal) with kids.
Super good handling of narratives! Interweaving and layering. It’s three different narratives going together at the same time. It’s running in parallel then suddenly it comes together. What a symbol. That white scarf! Symbolic motif of a high order. The physical manifestation of so many levels of narrative meaning. It takes a deft hand to spin so many threads of a yarn but the result is a complex and dazzling tapestry that clothes you in a warm fuzzy feeling. The narrative control is high level stuff… Essays could be written on the interplay and how the narratives work to reinforce each other and deliver all the messages that the performance contains.
The last song? Revolting? Totally blew me away. Michael Jackson echoes, in your face-ness, a blithely wicked celebration of childhood and innocence. All those Thriller-like dance moves! Trunchbull is an absolute gem. Her performance is insane… Absolutely in character.
It’s also very interesting that there’s a lot said about reading and books in the musical, considering that the source material is a book. I love books.
And we got the tickets for 5 pounds! Woot! Queuing 2 and a half hours in the morning was worth it. Student tickets for the win.
What a show! Really worth watching! Extremely impressed.