Last Wednesday (as mentioned in my previous post) I went to see Matilda The Musical with my Mum. The show has been really well-received in the UK and recently opened to rave reviews on Broadway. I’ve studied musical theatre since I was young, and during university was focused mainly on contemporary musical theatre, especially trends and traditions in musical theatre singing (spot the essay title…).
I can see why Matilda is getting such great reviews. I personally found most of the music functional rather than fantastic (apart from a couple of standout tracks) but the playful, cheeky score does fit the tone of the show even if it’s not especially groundbreaking. I’d be interested in future Tim Minchin scores to see how he progresses as a composer. My favourite aspect was the ingenious set, which was used thematically throughout and really felt as though it had been ingrained in the development of the show. I also really enjoyed the choreography, which showed influences from contemporary ballet and was at times very surreal, something I wasn’t expecting from a commercial West End production. In the linked video to “Naughty” above you can see a brief example of the choreography – the actresses playing Matilda really reminded me of Quentin Blake’s iconic drawings with their jerky little arm movements.