Minchin's Magical 'Matilda the Musical'

Tuesday 22nd August 2017

After storming London's West End and New York's Broadway, Road Dahl's 'Matilda The Musical', with original songs by Tim Minchin, has finally come to New Zealand shores. A group from John McGlashan College made the trip to Auckland, to see if the show lived up to all the hype. 

'Matilda the Musical', Royal Shakespeare's Production
'Matilda the Musical', Royal Shakespeare's Production

'Matilda The Musical' is the multi-award winning production from the Royal Shakespeare Company, inspired by the beloved book by the incomparable Roald Dahl. Matilda is the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her destiny.   

In the middle of week six, 18 students (from Years 9-13), together with Ms Fridd and Mr Morrison, boarded a plane at 6.25am ready for a cultural experience like no other. The group was a mix of students taking senior drama, students who were involved with the recent major production (Rock of Ages: High School Edition) or English/Humanities students who would benefit from an arts extension opportunity. Through exploration of the humanities, we learn how to think creatively and critically, to reason, and to ask questions. When asked the question: 'why take arts and humanities?' Daniel R. Schwarz once said:

'the arts take us into imagined worlds created by different minds and enable us to understand how others live. We are what we read, the museums we visit and the performances we see and hear. They are as much us — part of our memories, our isness — as the culture we inherit and the life experiences we have.' 

 Attending 'Matilda the Musical' is certainly one life experience we won't forget in a hurry! 

Early reviews of the show penned it as the best stage musical ever to come to Auckland... and they were right. It was unlike anything we've ever seen before. The combination of professional performances, acrobatics, staging, lighting (including lasers and strobes), stage technology, special effects, music, costuming, and choreography all combined to produce a stunning visual and audio spectacular. 

So what did our students think? We asked them... 

What was the highlight of 'Matilda the Musical'?

Tama Anthony-Wigham (Year 9): "I found it extremely good to be able to see such an amazing production. I think the most valuable thing I received was that even children of a very young age could be some of the top performers in the world. A  highlight was "definitely the school song when they sang with the letters of the alphabet. The choreography and the lighting and set BLEW ME AWAY! It was an amazing experience, and I am very happy I was invited to go."
Mitchell Botting (Year 12): "It gave me some good ideas for our drama devising internal. It is a very memorable trip, and I think it will be great to write about in the drama exam. I loved the set, and how they used the lighting, it was quite cool. Loved how each set had a word spelt out in the wall blocks."
James Burchell (Year 12): "Being inspired by such a high calibre performance of an amazing musical with exceptional choreography." My favourite bits were "the unique choreography in the 'School Song' and 'When I Grow Up".
Paddy Hantler (Year 13): "I thought it was useful to see how Tim Minchin's music managed to bring his sense of humour to a more classic story". My favourite bits were "the plot twists in the 2nd act". 
'Matilda the Musical', Royal Shakespeare's Production
'Matilda the Musical', Royal Shakespeare's Production
Civic Theatre foyer, Auckland