Posts Tagged ‘Dennis Kelly’

I don’t review shows often here because I rarely see anything I enjoy enough. However:

I went to see Matilda the Musical at the beginning of November, I had been anticipating it for a while, and meant to see it at the Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon where it premièred last year, being temporarily immersed in Sligo (like water or mud) prevented me. Anyway. I arrived after a mad rush down Earlham Street, and took my seat very conscious that I could be soon very disappointed. I wasn’t.

Matilda the musical is the best night I’ve spent in the theatre, clever, entertaining, original and faithful to the book. It captured perfectly, Roald Dahl’s mischievous humour. I realise by this point that everyone has talked about Bertie Carvel but I have to as well. He turns Miss Trunchball into a fully rounded, utterly despicable, 3D character with every bit as much depth  as Hamlet. Unlike Hamlet, Miss Trunchball is a character you want to watch. Musicals with this level of intelligence and craft are rare, the West End is filled with plotless jukebox musicals, movie adaptations and outdated long runners. It’s great to see something original for a change.

I can’t list everything that I loved about this show, just go see it, I’d imagine it’ll be extending for a few years to come and I can’t recommend it enough.

I sincerely hope that Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly continue to work together, the West End is safe in their hands.


I missed the performance by the RSC, but thought I’d read the play anyway. I’m not sure why writers feel they need to swear so much on stage, I find it a bit embarrassing… My language is fairly profane in person, but in my writing I rarely swear, it becomes less believable I think and also restricts the expression and renders if less effective… Interestingly I do think there’s a difference between swearing on stage and on film… As film is (in many cases) supposed to be a visual representation of ‘a life’ or ‘lives’ it sits better, and generally I wouldn’t bat an eyelid if a character came out with a long line of profanities, but on stage it just looks like the writer is trying too hard.

Literally every second word in The Gods Weep is a swear word. Which is most definitely overkill. I found it distracted me from the plot with the result that I didn’t notice it was a reworking of King Lear until the death of the mirror character of Cordelia at the end. On the whole it was a good piece of work, but I wonder how it would have sat with the hideously middle class RSC audiences? Would they have embraced each ‘c word’ as ‘valid vocabulary in the execution of art’? or winced with horror every time? Maybe I’m straying perilously close to being classist. I’ll get off my soap box now. It was good, though maybe fewer profanities wouldn’t be a bad thing…