Matilda The Musical Review - Mayflower Southampton

When I was growing up, my favourite book character was Matilda. A little girl with as much heart and strength as those so much bigger than her. I would sit and devour books and watch the film to my hearts content. Since having a child myself, I've tried to instil that fearlessness and fantastic qualities that Matilda embodied as he has grown up.

Matilda first hit on the musical scene in 2010 and has shot into worldwide popularity as its won countless awards and wowed millions of audience members. Currently, it's on its UK tour and is stopping at our favourite local theatre, The Mayflower in Southampton. We were lucky enough to be invited along to see it for ourself, and I couldn't work out who was more excited... me or Max!

Matilda the Musical follows the story of Matilda, the smallest heroine in fiction as she tries to find her place in the world amongst some ugly grown ups. Along the way she tells stories, makes friends and ultimately finds where her true happiness lies, and sometimes that's not with the family you are given, but with the family you make for yourself. With some fantastic highs that will have you laughing in your seat to lows that will make you shed a tear, this musical is the perfect one for all the family. 

Before I get into the performances, I want to touch on the staging and the costumes. My god were these out of this world. The attention to detail was second to none and whilst me and Max spent the 20 minutes before the show trying to find all the words hidden in the set, I spent the whole show marvelling the brilliant and vibrant costumes that were perfect for each performer. From the garish Wormwood suits, to Miss Trunchbull's signature trench coat, the costumes were completely perfect. 

Elliot Harper was perfect as the intimidating dictator that is Miss Trunchbull, a perfect blend of sinister and hilarious that honestly blew me away in a role that was truly captivating. Whilst the endearing and sweet Miss Honey (played by Carly Toms) was the perfect counterpart to her terrible aunt with her gorgeous singing and caring nature to all of the students at Crunchem Hall. 

I loved the way that both Mr Wormwood (Sebastien Torkia) and Mrs Wormwood (Rebecca Thornhill) portrayed the parents that never seemed to understand our title character. With their flamboyance for ballroom dancing, penchant for dodgy car dealings and love of their TV obsessed son Michael (Matthew Caputo) you couldn't help but compare them with Del Boy and co. Their ode to TV at the start of act 2 is definitely something that will have you laughing and singing along.

Of course the stars of the show were the children. It's easy to be wary of shows that have predominantly children starring in them, but I have always been impressed with their professionalism and their performances and Matilda completely blew me away. All of the kids worked their socks off and completely stole the show from their adult co-stars. From the brilliantly energetic Chantelle Tonolete who played the over excited and over eager to please Lavender, to Presley Charman who was absolutely hilarious as Bruce Bogtrotter, the kid who loves to dance and loves to eat cake! Max sat there on the edge of his seat for the whole performance and declared to me at the end of the show that he would love to be Bruce when he's a bit bigger!

Finally, the leading lady. For such a small girl, Freya Scott's stage presence took up most of the stage and the audience couldn't keep their eyes off her brilliant performance. From her daring story of the acrobat and the escapologist, to her heartbreaking rendition of Quiet, this girl truly knows how to own a stage and she is sure to be a star as she takes to more stages in the future.

With a fantastic score from Tim Minchin, it's easy to see how this catchy musical is already a classic with families. A story that is about fearlessness and finding your voice, with songs about being naughty, revolting children and growing up, it's a soundtrack that we have been playing non stop. My personal highlights were Naughty as you watched Matilda find her confidence and strenght to be a little bit naughty and Revolting Children with Bruce and his fantastic dancing on the table. Not to mention the School Song and it's fantastic alphabet staging and the children and adults swinging on stage throughout When I Grow Up. It's a show that you are left grinning from ear to ear, an absolutely, brilliant show that truly is a little bit naughty! The perfect show for the whole family.

Matilda the Musical is performing at the Mayflower in Southampton until the 6th July and is perfect for children 6+. Tickets are still available at the Mayflower website.

*Note: Tickets were gifted, but all opinions are our own.

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