A Trunch-mendous performance from Bertie Carvel makes Matilda a must-see musical

  • Theatre review on the revamped 21st century Matilda production in the Palace Theatre. 
  • UK Matilda Royal Shakespeare tour.

At last, the wait is over. One of the most anticipated musicals of the 21st century has travelled from the West End all the way to Broadway and landed in the heart of Manchester for an eleven week marathon.

This magnificent production of Roald Dahl’s ‘Matilda’ roars to life and once you’ve watched this you will pray for Miss Trunchbull to remain just a fictional character on paper.

The Royal Shakespeare’s Theatre company has magically directed this production in a humorous, light hearted manner, bringing this dark and mysterious story back to life with the elevating help of a talented West End cast.

Dennis Kelly, the writer of this production has profoundly added the light sense of humour which illuminates throughout this performance, whether it be in the infamous cake eating scene or the playground child throwing scene.

This production projects everything that is right about modern theatre. 

Matilda, who is beautifully played by Sophia Ally, encapsulates human vulnerability alongside her determination for acceptance.  

The talented Matilda finds herself at a crossroads when her ignorant family cannot see her talent and her head mistress’s ego is to large to recognise what Matilda has, but fortunately she has a guardian angel named Miss Honey to help guide her down the right path. 

The groundbreaking Bertie Carvel who plays the deviant Miss Trunchbull is easily the most outstanding characterisation theatre has seen for years.

Mrs Trunchbull in Mathilda
Bertie Carvel as Miss Trunchbull. Captured by Joan Marcus.

The way in which he portrays this female role in such a domineering and frightening style takes you right back to any school detention with the teacher you feared most.

The pin-drop silence throughout the crowd every time he enters the stage highlights the unbelievable portrayal of the stereotypical ‘evil’ character. Instead of the usual ‘boo’ from the crowd you can only hear their teeth chattering in fear. 

Bertie Carvel, who also appeared in the breathtaking 2012 film production of Les Miserables, has conquered and embodied roles throughout his career, whether it be a corrupt ‘dandy’ role right through to the strong minded but conflicted king himself, Macbeth.

He has received a Tony award for best actor in a musical (2013), has been awarded a Laurence Olivier award, a TMA award, and a Drama Desk award which were all received for his role as Miss Trunchbull.

A scene from Mathilda
Bertie Carvel put in a great performance as Miss Trunchbull, image by Sara Krulwich 

He really does deserve a standing ovation for his performance as Miss Trunchbull. 

The lighting throughout the performance is wonderfully effective as it reflects the magic and mystery of the story. The effects are absorbed by the audience, with the flickering lighting and array of colours placing the audience in a state of confusion and lacking in concentration.

Similar is the effective sound which is created by Simon Baker, using boisterous and recurring sound effects to add to and punctuate the narrative throughout the performance. 

Matilda the musical is a must see – be transported back to being a mischievous child and experience the force that is Miss Trunchbull for one last curtain call.

This cutting edge performance will continue to tour across the UK and you will not want to miss out.

Visit https://uk.matildathemusical.com/tour/tickets/ to buy your tickets now! Cardiff you are next.