Earlham Street, London
Previewed: 25 October 2011
Opened: 24 November 2011
Closed: 15 March 2020
Reopened: 16 September 2021Booking up to: 29 May 2022
Nearest Tube: Covent Garden
Monday no show
Tuesday at 7.00pm
Wednesday at 2.00pm and 7.00pm
Thursday at 7.00pm
Friday at 7.00pm
Saturday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sunday at 3.00pm
Runs 2 hours and 40 minutes including one interval
£ to £
(plus booking fees if applicable)
The critically acclaimed Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Roald Dahl's Matilda in London .
Roald Dahl's magical story about a girl with extraordinary powers has been a favourite novel for millions of people across the world since it was published in 1988. Now Matilda bursts into life on stage in this brand new musical version and children and adults alike are sure to be thrilled and delighted by the story of the special little girl with an extraordinary imagination.
In this world children, there are two types of human being, the winners and the losers... I am A WINNER. I play by the rules and I win. I have always obeyed rules, but what if the rules BETRAY ME, then it is time for the rules to learn who is boss, it is time for the rules to learn that IT IS THEIR TURN TO OBEY BE!" In a world where children are seen and not heard, one child stands up for what is right!... Join Matilda, Bruce, Nigel, Amanda, Lavender, Hortensia, Tommy, Eric, and Alice in this magical musical adventure.
Musical with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, and book by Dennis Wise, based on the original novel by Roald Dahl.
The cast from 16 September 2021 features Elliot Harper as 'Miss Trunchbull', Sebastian Torkia as 'Mr Wormwood', Annette McLaughlin as 'Mrs Wormwood', and Carly Thoms as 'Miss Honey'. Casting subject to change without notice.
Directed by Matthew Warchus, with choreography Peter Darling, sets by Rob Howell, illusions by Paul Kieve, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, and sound by Simon Baker.
Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 situation, this production, which had been booking up to 20 December 2020, closed on Sunday 15 March 2020. It then reopened from Thursday 16 September 2021.
Other London theatre shows that have featured the stories of Roald Dahl include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane from 2013 to 2017; Fantastic Mr Fox at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre in 2007; and The Witches at the Duke of York's Theatre in 1992, Vaudeville Theatre in 1996, and Wyndham's Theatre in 2005.
When this production opened in London Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail praised the show as being "a fabulous family fizzer. It has strong tunes, witty lyrics and enough 'eew!' moments to satisfy the most revolting urchin." Dominic Maxwell in the Times commented that this "is a family show that you don't need a family to enjoy, which injects invention and energy to everything it does." Julie Carpenter in the Daily Express explained that now "transferred to the West End it proves an absolute cracker of a show, bursting with dynamism, fizzing with verve... Gloriously over the top it's an irresistible and ingenious mix of fun, fizz, cruelty, incredible choreography and above all warmth which means we root for the kids from the start. Fantastic." Sarah Hemming in the Financial Times described how "the creative team behind this RSC musical pitches the tone beautifully. They catch Dahl's peppery, mischievous, dark imagination and tell his story of the gifted Matilda , her ghastly parents and her wicked headmistress with real zest." Lyn Gardner in the Guardian wrote that "writer Dennis Kelly and composer and lyricist Tim Minchin go to the top of the class with this anarchically joyous, gleefully nasty and ingenious musical adaptation." In the London Evening Standard Henry Hitchings said that "Matilda is a gem... a show of rare inventiveness and charm," adding that "Rob Howell's towering design is ingenious, there is delicious choreography by Peter Darling and director Matthew Warchus marries moments of dazzling, noisy brilliance with others of real poignancy... This is true family entertainment. Children will enjoy its blissful mix of fantasy and irreverence and adults will savour it for these same reasons as well as a host of different ones. This generous, big-hearted piece is already being spoken of as one of the best new British musicals in years." When this same prodcution originally opened in Stratford-upon-Avon Neil Norman in the Daily Express highlighted that the musical "ticks the boxes where other kids' shows don't even have boxes. It is funny, terrifying, tuneful, tragic, entertaining and moving," adding that "we are captivated by the story and the characterisation which is just over the top enough to be funny without losing sight of reality... absolutely fabulous." Libby Purves in the Times noted how "Dennis Kelly's adaptation grips from the start," while "jokes and numbers come thick and fast, both physical and verbal." Charles Spencer in the Daily Telegraph hailed it as being "the best British musical since Billy Elliot and a smash hit that will surely be the toast of the West End once its run in Stratford is over... highly entertaining," a "joyous adaptation" with "splendidly witty, instantly hummable songs, dazzling choreography, a cast of impossibly cute and delightful children," adding that director Matthew Warchus "brings the show to life with a buzzing vitality that proves irresistible." Paul Taylor in the Independent said that in "this wildly entertaining musical... Dennis Kelly's clever adaptation and the witty, intricate songs by Aussie comic Tim Minchin create a new, improved version of Dahl's story," while "Matthew Warchus's wondrously well-drilled production finds just the right balance between gleeful grotesque humour and heart-warming poignancy." Michael Billington in the Guardian wrote that "child spectators will relish its picture of adult insensitivity and injustice, while adults will enjoy a display of showbiz expertise that may not be pure Dahl, but is nevertheless wholly delightful."
Prior to opening in London's West End, this production enjoyed an acclaimed season at the RSC's Stratford base, playing at the Courtyard Theatre previewed from 9 November 2010, opened on 9 December 2010, and closed on 30 January 2011, with the same lead adult cast.
The ORIGINAL cast featured Bertie Carvel as 'Miss Trunchbull', Paul Kaye as 'Mr Wormwood', Josie Walker as 'Mrs Wormwood', and Lauren Ward as 'Miss Honey', with Marc Antolin as 'Henchman', Melanie La Barrie as 'Mrs Phelps', Verity Bentham as 'Cook', Peter Howe as 'Michael Wormwood', Matthew Malthouse as 'Escapologist', Alistair Parker as 'Sergei', Nick Searle as 'Henchman', Emily Shaw as 'Acrobat', Lucy Thatcher as 'Henchwoman', Tim Walton as 'Teacher'/'Doctor', Gary Watson as 'Rudolpho', Matthew Clark, Michael Kent, Rachel Moran, and Leanne Pinder, with three sets of nine children.
The SECOND cast from Tuesday 17 April 2012 to Sunday 1 September 2013 featured Bertie Carvel as 'Miss Trunchbull' (up to Sunday 1 July 2012), David Leonard as 'Miss Trunchbull' (from Tuesday 3 July 2012), Steve Furst as 'Mr Wormwood', Josie Walker as 'Mrs Wormwood' (up to Sunday 19 August 2012), Annette McLaughlin as 'Mrs Wormwood' (from Tuesday 21 August 2012), and Haley Flaherty as 'Miss Honey'.
The THIRD cast from Tuesday 3 September 2013 to Sunday 13 September 2015 featured Alex Gaumond as 'Miss Trunchbull' (up to Sunday 7 September 2014), Craige Els as 'Miss Trunchbull' (from Tuesday 9 September 2014), James Clyde as 'Mr Wormwood', Kay Murphy as 'Mrs Wormwood', and Hayley Flaherty as 'Miss Honey'.
The FOURTH cast from Tuesday 15 September 2015 to Sunday 10 September 2017 featured Craige Els as 'Miss Trunchbull', Michael Begley as 'Mr Wormwood', Rebecca Thornhill as 'Mrs Wormwood', and Miria Parvin as 'Miss Honey'.
The FIFTH cast from Tuesday 12 September 2017 to Sunday 9 September 2018 featured David Shannon as 'Miss Trunchbull', Tom Edden as 'Mr Wormwood', Marianne Benedict as 'Mrs Wormwood', and Gina Beck as 'Miss Honey'.
The SIXTH cast from Tuesday 11 September 2018 to Sunday 8 September 2019 featured Hayden Tee as 'Miss Trunchbull', Rob Compton as 'Mr Wormwood', Holly Dale Spencer as 'Mrs Wormwood' (up to Wednesday 27 March 2019), Marianne Benedict as 'Mrs Wormwood' (from Thursday 28 March 2019), and Gina Beck as 'Miss Honey'.
The SEVENTH cast from Tuesday 10 September 2019 to Sunday 15 March 2020 featured Elliot Harper as 'Miss Trunchbull', Sebastian Torkia as 'Mr Wormwood', Marianne Benedict as 'Mrs Wormwood', and Gina Beck as 'Miss Honey'.
"This is undoubtedly the best new British musical since Billy Elliot, and has much in common with it: a gifted child who wants to escape from a grim situation, and plenty to laugh, to cry and to sing about. And like Billy Elliot, the show embraces toughness (in a good way) and determination, and avoids silly soppy sentiment. For the heroine of Roald Dahl's story, Matilda, escape comes via books, the power of imagination and her uncrushable spirit. Rob Howell's design of alphabet building bricks, Scrabble letters and towering bookshelves spells this out spectacularly. So do Tim Minchin's lyrics. They powerfully express the love of language he shares with Matilda and Dahl, and his own relish for deliciously awful rhymes... Director Matthew Warchus gets stunning performances from a well-drilled cast... Here is a must-see musical with magic as well as muscle." The Mail on Sunday
"Who better than Roald Dahl, an author who understood the magic of storytelling, to provide the original material for this year's RSC Christmas show? Add the talents of director Matthew Warchus, playwright Dennis Kelly and comic/musician Tim Minchin and the result is Matilda, The Musical - a joyous, funny and touching affair. Five-year-old Matilda is a gifted child who reads Dickens and Dostoevsky, but whose dimwit parents ignore her. They cart her off to Crunchem Hall, where the headmistress is the neckless ogre Miss Trunchbull, who hates children and runs the school like a prison camp. But also there is the lovely teacher Miss Honey, who is strangely drawn to Matilda. Matilda has special powers that she uses to thwart the baddie grown-ups who bully children... This being Roald Dahl, there's much grotesquery to be enjoyed... Minchin's music is catchy... Rob Howell's design is a delight, and Warchus keeps things moving along nicely." The Sunday Telegraph
This production was originally scheduled to preview from 18 October 2011, and open on 22 November 2011, but due to the extended time needed to move the set into London's Cambridge Theatre the first five previews were cancelled and the official 'opening night' was delayed by three days.
Matilda The Musical in London at the Cambridge Theatre previewed from 25 October 2011, opened on 24 November 2011 .