Magazine article The Spectator

CULTURE NOTES Girl Power

Magazine article The Spectator

CULTURE NOTES Girl Power

Article excerpt

Those seeking to banish the January blues should hotfoot it to the Cambridge Theatre for a gloriously uplifting injection of energy and exuberance courtesy of the RSC's Matilda the Musical.

Roald Dahl's celebration of the redeeming power of the imagination is magically translated to the stage by writer Dennis Kelly and lyricist Tim Minchin. Watching pintsi zed prod igy Mat i lda , champion o f ju st ice and m i st re s s o f her own de st iny, t r iumph over a t ru ly tox ic t r io o f od iou s pa rent s and d iabol ica l headm i st re s s i s both enormou s fun and unexpectedly moving. The role was expertly played by mini powerhouse Kerry Ingram (who alternates with three other girls).

While the cast is uniformly strong, the show-stealer has to be Bertie Carvel, whose finely calibrated portrayal of the psychopathic torturer Agatha Trunchbu l l steer s clea r o f caricature, managing to be comic and chilling in equal measure - and even, if only for a nanosecond, capable of eliciting our sympathy. …

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