Review. Synopsis. FAQs
New York 2014. Singapore 2019.
We’ve just returned from the musical and we can’t get it off our heads and hearts.
Watch the preview of ‘When I Grow Up’ from the Singapore season:
We first caught Matilda with our 6 year-old in-house Roal Dahl fan back in 2014 in Broadway New York. We were completely swept off our feet then. Being a musical-loving family, I thought we have seen our fair share of excellent musicals but little did we know that we, yes WE , and not just our 6 year-old, were completely smitten by this fresh new musical.
Imagine our joy when we knew that it has come to Asia at last for the very first time, making its debut in Singapore. So how is the Singapore premier compared? Simply put, it’s excellent. If there is one musical that defines our kids’ eneration, THIS is it. We highly recommend this energetic, endearing and highly engaging musical for all in the family.
Here are 5 reasons why:
- The Actors: Very rarely do you get a live musical where each of the characters can carry their own. Having watched the musical in Broadway before, I was expecting Miss Trunchbull and the wacky characters Mr. and Mrs Wormwoods to steal the show but all of the characters held their own place in the musical and carried it with much aplomb.
Worthy of mention was certainly Singapore’s very own Sofia Poston who acted as Matilda. The pint sized girl, smallest among the 4 Matildas, exuded a presence that was larger than life. Her petitness amplified the vulnerability of Matilda, juxtaposing against the towering Trunchbull and her domineering, dismissive parents . It was surreal to see a standing ovation right at the end as this little girl took to the stage during curtain call. Bravo. Bravo. Bravo.
- The Set: The stunning set, designed ingeniously by Tony Award winning director, Matthew Warchus, was an ingenious sight to behold. Framed by scrabble-looking tiles with big words used by little Matilda together with fantastic lighting, this set brings out the quirky and whimsical setting that is Roald Dahl.
- The Music – The musical score, with dissonant chords and odd interval jumps were absolutely perfect to complement the plot. In many ways the music brought the story to life and transported the audience effortlessly into the world of Roald Dahl. The cleverly written lyrics kept us entertained throughout, even our 4 year-old!
- The Theme: Every person can make the world a better place, even a child. The themes of courage, bravery, faith and friendship in the musical are simple yet universal, and in fact, quite inspiring.
- Short Season! – Matilda’s inaugural run is Singapore ends 17th March. It’s very short. So get your tickets to catch this iconic musical.
- Is this musical childish? Would it be suitable for parents and adults too?
With an incredibly talented cast of young performers, Matilda is set to inspire and delight audiences young and old. The musical is perfect for all in the family. Everyone can identify with the times in their childhood where they wish they could overcome their vulnerability with faith, love and hope, perhaps even with a dash of magic.
- Is it suitable for very young children (e.g. preschoolers)?
We brought our 4 year old along and he stayed engaged throughout. The pacing of the musical together with the energetic songs and dances kept him glued to the seat. However there were scenes where strobes and sudden loud accents in the music startled him. To fully appreciate the musical, it would be good if the child is at least of primary school-going age.
- Must I read the book first to enjoy the Musical?
No. The musical adaptation is concise enough for everyone to enjoy regardless if you’re a Roald Dahl fan (like my 11 year old) or otherwise.
- What is the duration of the Musical?
Evening shows start promptly from 7:30 pm and lasts till nearly 10:30 pm with a short 15 minute interval. If you’re bringing kids, make sure they use the conveniences early before the show begins.
- Any other advice for parents bringing their children?
Set the Context: Given the dramatised circumstances that Matilda and her friends experience in the musical, parents who bring young children may have to explain that some of the words used and pranks played (e.g. Mixing her father’s hair lotion (Song: ‘Naughty’) and the occasional calling of names etc.) while not vulgar, may not be appropriate in real life. Let them know this is a fictional story. (Thanks to our reader Melissa for this important point.)
Based on the hugely popular book by the iconic children’s author Roald Dahl, Matilda is a story of a young precocious and genius of a girl who discovers her magical powers and uses it to right the wrongs in her life and that of her caring and naïve teacher.
It explores the universal notion of good overcoming evil with the interplay of themes that include courage, friendship and hope complete with a dash of magic. Believing that everyone can make their world a better place even if you’re just a 5 year old.
Inspired by the beloved book by the incomparable Roald Dahl, Matilda the Musical has taken both London’s West End and Broadway by storm, garnering 5-star reviews across the board. Winner of over 85 international awards, Matilda the Musical is in its seventh year in London where it continues to delight audiences of all ages and has been seen by more than 8 million people.
The Singapore season marks the first time the hit musical has ventured to Asia, having toured to Australia and New Zealand from 2015-2017.
The musical was commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company and played to sold-out crowds at the RSC’s The Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in England for 12 weeks from Nov 2010 to Jan. 2011. It transferred to the West End later that year and swept the board at the 2012 Olivier Awards thus making this one of the most successful British musicals of modern times.
The New York production of Matilda opened in 2013 in Broadway’s Shubert theatre to rapturous reviews and was awarded the accolade of ‘#1 Show of the Year’ from TIME Magazine and won 5 Tony Awards.
Event Date: Thur, 21 Feb – Sun, 17 Mar 2019
Tue – Fri: 7.30pm
Sat: 2pm & 7.30pm
Sun: 1pm & 6pm
Venue: Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands
Ticket Pricing: Tickets start from SGD68 (Excludes Booking Fee)
Get your tickets from: https://www.marinabaysands.com/entertainment/shows/matilda-the-musical.html and https://www.sistic.com.sg
Yes I agree, I was so pleased this musical finally came to Singapore. Great set, great score and talented performers. While it is fun to ‘to be a bit naughty’, hopefully the children don’t get the idea they can ALWAYS be naughty!
And having children in the audience echoing out “Big Fat Bully” may be questionable, cos no matter how ‘bad’ a person is, we ought to teach children that it is NOT right to call people names.
Nevertheless, recommended to watch this as a family, but parental guidance is advised. Problem-solving is always a useful lesson for kids and adults alike!
P/S: The song is titled “When I Grow Up”, not “I Want To Grow Up”.
Thank you Melissa for the edit and for that important point. We’ve appended it in our FAQs. Many thanks!