No sooner had Roald Dahl’s Matilda : the musical : original cast recording hit the shelves in Arts recently, than it was requested several times. It seemed like every other day a new call slip for Matilda appeared on the shelves in the CD stack.
So Matilda has now found a “special” place on Jukebox Listening Post 3 @ Disc No. 4 on the playlist, just one of our popular jukebox listening posts.
But just who is Matilda, and why is there a musical named after her? Well, here are a few facts.
The parents of the five-year-old Matilda Wormwood have no interest in their daughter, but if they did, they would have discovered that she is incredibly and unusually smart and gifted. Matilda taught herself to read at three years old, though the only actual books in the house were a cookbook and magazines. When she asks for a real book for herself, her father rudely turns her down. In spite of this, Matilda looks up the address of the local library, where she finishes all the children’s books within a short time, thus leaving her to read adult novels, which she really enjoys. The librarian gives Matilda her own library card, and she is able to borrow books to read at home.
Matilda was adapted into a film in 1996, a two-part radio version narrated by Lenny Henry and a musical in 2010 produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company. One critic called Matilda : the musical, “the best new musical since Billy Elliot”. Music and lyrics are by Australian comedian Tim Minchin. They include bright and bouncy songs such as Miracle, Naughty, Pathetic, The Hammer, Loud, Bruce, Telly, Quiet, all sung by Matilda and company in a tune filled score.
Maybe we will see a production of Matilda in Australia sometime soon. In the meantime we’ll just have to be content to hum along to the the original cast recording in Arts.