Calling all the revolting children in the world. (Hey, it's nothing personal.) We're delighted to announce that Cineworld tickets are now on sale for Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical.
Tim Minchin's smash-hit twist on the beloved children's book has stormed this year's London Film Festival. And it's ready to tear up Cineworld screens from this November.
Here's what you need to know about it.
1. It's adapted from the blockbusting stage play
As mentioned, the original stage production comes from the pen of Tim Minchin who brings his twisted lyricism and outsized gift for melody to the proceedings.
The musical was first trialled during late 2010 and early 2011 by the Royal Shakespeare Company. It made its proper arrival in late 2011 in London's West End, before later being transferred to Broadway.
The production was a huge success, winning a then-record amount of Olivier Awards, seven in total, including Best New Musical. Following its Broadway premiere, Matilda went on to win five Tony awards including Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical (awarded to writer Dennis Kelly).
The good news is that Minchin and Kelly reunited to bring the show's movie version to the screen. They're again collaborating with director Matthew Warchus who helmed the original Stratford-on-Avon, West End and Broadway iterations of the production.
With the original creatives in the driving seat, we can expect nothing less than perfection, right? Check out some footage from the original RSC staging of Matilda.
2. It showcases a star-making role from Alisha Weir
Irish newcomer Alisha is surely headed for stardom off the back of her performance as the precocious, telekinetic Matilda Wormwood.
Weir grabbed the role when she was 11 years old and enrolled in a Dublin drama school. It's the kind of magical story of which Dahl himself would have been proud.
Posting on Instagram in January 2021, Weir wrote: 'I am delighted to be playing the role of ‘Matilda’ in Matilda the movie musical which will be on Netflix. 'I am so excited to get started !!! Thank you so much to everyone for all your nice comments. I am so happy.'
Director Matthew Warchus said Weir had earned the role on merit following an "unforgettable audition". Here she is talking about how she got into the role.
3. Emma Thompson is said to steal the show as the Trunchbull
She's one of the UK's most beloved performers, but there's nothing loveable about Emma Thompson's latest turn.
She portrays the fearsome head of Crunchem Hall, Miss Trunchbull. Unrecognisable with her broad shoulders, inflated height and stern features (accentuated by prosthetics), Thompson is clearly having a blast as the child-hating principal who immediately locks horns with Matilda.
Thompson's sheer menace in the part has been noted as one of the film's highlights. Evening Standard reviewer Charlotte O'Sullivan says Thompson's portrayal will likely "haunt your dreams", adding that "she's scary... and bat***t crazy".
Well, what's a Roald Dahl adaptation without a little bit of darkness and peril?
4. There's an excellent supporting cast
In every Roald Dahl story, the sweet goes with the sour. For every tyrannical Trunchbull, there's the sublime and pure Miss Honey, played here by No Time To Die and The Woman King actor, Lashana Lynch. She's the teacher who bonds with Matilda over her love of reading, and is an important counterpoint to the cretinous adults present elsewhere in the story.
Speaking of which, the versatile Stephen Graham and Andrea Riseborough are said to have a lot of fun as Matilda's vile parents. The book-hating, TV-worshipping Wormwoods are brought to life in all their ghastly glory, further emboldening Matilda's position as a bright young girl eager to escape her surroundings.
5. It's had great reviews from the London Film Festival
"Emma Thompson plays the appalling Trunchbull in heavy prosthetics, a former Olympic hammer thrower who hates kids, with shoulders like the arms of a discount sofa," writes Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian. "And of course, the musical marvel Tim Minchin weaves his spell with barnstorming music and lyrics, perhaps especially in the opening School Song, in which the older pupils introduce Matilda to the horrors in store, by way of the alphabet, starting with “So you think you’re A-ble, / To survive this mess …” to “Just you wait for Phys-Z”.
The gleefully sly comedy kindred spirits of Thompson and Minchin come together to form the film’s bedrock of naughtiness."
That's just one of the rave responses to Matilda the Musical. Here's another from The Independent's Clarisse Loughrey.
"There’s no attempt to improve on the Tony-winning stage adaptation’s source material, written by Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly; it only wants to translate its spirit faithfully," she writes. "Realistically, I can’t imagine any other way it could work. There’s too much history and too much childhood nostalgia from the book, film, and subsequent musical weighted onto each beat of the story.
"The Matilda we get here, then – formally titled Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical – is a frothy, whimsical delight that encompasses every expectation we were bound to have already placed on it. It’s intrinsically British enough that I half expect it to be soon absorbed into the Paddington cinematic universe."
Matilda being likened to Paddington? Has that not convinced you? Then click here to book your Cineworld tickets for Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical. The movie opens on November 25.