Monday, September 19, 2016

How to spoil a good story (Matilda)

      Matilda [D: Matthew Warchus. Book by Dennis Kelly, Music by Tim Minchin, based on the novel by Roald Dahl. With Hannah Levinson, Dan Chameroy, Paula Brancati, et al.] A good play spoiled by flashing lights and sudden noise, and extremely average music played very loudly. The acting ranged from competent to very good, the dance sets were cliched but well done, the set designs and lighting were created to maximise the wow-factor. Overall the production was less concerned with telling a good story than with astonishing the audience. I have no idea whether it succeeded with the other patrons, it did not succeed with me.
     In short, impressive, but not in a good way. Pity, since Matilda is one of Dahl’s better stories. It shows how the imagination and a couple of engaged adults can foster the resilience of a neglected child. Dahl knows that a happy ending is unlikely, but he gives us one anyhow. *½

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