MATILDA the Musical is a meeting of the minds – author Roald Dahl, writer Dennis Kelly and Perth composer and lyricist Tim Minchin – and the result is absolutely glorious.
Clever, magical and sometimes “a little bit naughty”, the production is a theatrical triumph and has finally opened in Minchin’s hometown following its beginnings with The Royal Shakespeare Company premiere in Stratford-upon-Avon in 2009 before moving to London’s West End.
The show is as infectious as Matilda’s love of books, with its witty lyrics, catchy tunes and mixture of loveable and not so loveable characters brought to colourful life.
Like so many children, this reviewer grew up with the delight of Dahl’s works and the stage show is as true to the text as possible, with a hint of spectacle sparkle thrown in for good measure.
It is problematic to choose just one favourite song from a list that includes the opening Miracle, cheeky Naughty, alphabet-inspired School Song, the contrasting Loud and Quiet and the transcendent When I Grow Up.
Girl power, family and intolerance to bullies are at the heart of the story about five-year-old Matilda Wormwood, the character to be shared across the Perth season by four young performers whose talent in the title role is astounding.
There are WAAPA graduates aplenty led by the incomparable James Millar as Miss Trunchbull, who nails the part of the nasty headmistress.
Elise McCann as sweet and nurturing Miss Honey and Perth’s Cle Morgan as the vivacious librarian Mrs Phelps are brilliant casting choices.
Both are an ideal juxtaposition to Daniel Frederiksen and Marika Aubrey as awful but highly entertaining parents Mr and Mrs Wormwood.
With a memorable stage set and Matilda illustrator Quentin Blake-inspired costumes, Matilda the Musical is all you could wish for and more.
Matilda the Musical is at Crown Theatre Perth until May 7.