The family went to see Matilda (the musical) at the Wales Millennium Centre (WMC) yesterday afternoon.
We bought tickets when they went on sale around 2 years ago so it’s been a long wait. TL;DR totally worth it. You should try and see this if you can.
Firstly, the WMC is such a lovely theatre. I always feel like I’m seated in the inside of a grand piano or a giant ant colony. We also had great seats at the front row of the circle.
I am not a fan of musicals (generally), but this was really good. A few things really hit me:
Theatre design is rad
The set design of theatre fascinates me. You have such a limited pallet to use to, not only provide locations for the story, but also to theme the production and tie it all together. Save for a few props, most things are left to The viewer’s imagination and when it’s done well, you don’t need more than that.
The sets today were perfect, linking together the story, stage dressing and scenes. It was quirky and sometimes unsettling in a way that absolutely makes sense for the story. They also had a lot of small details woven in and even utilised the main theme (books/letters/lettering) to great effect in one of the songs/dances.
The coming together of all the disparate parts of a show like this; actors, songs, sets, lighting etc is like magic.
Story affects so much of our lives and how we view the world. This is both magical and crazy. Matilda touches on this, directly in one scene.
Even when we know all the protagonists are made-up, we can’t help but empathise with them. This isn’t an original thought, I know. I was just particularly struck by it yesterday.
The nature of the story dictates that child actors were going to make up a good chunk of the cast. They were all really good. Matilda was especially good (I cant tell you the actors name as I couldn’t find it on the show site. I can’t imagine they were much older than my eldest daughter. They left me gobsmacked. Bravo 👏🏽.
On my way back to our car, I stepped out behind a parked van, looked the wrong way and a cyclist hit me full pelt. This was totally my fault. A van then ran over his glasses.
Thankfully, it appears everyone is fine, save a few cuts and bruises, and some cash. Owen, I’m sorry. I will replace your glasses.