friendship

“I took my inner-kid out on a date and I'd recommend everyone do the same.”

As a child, I loved nothing more than curling up with a Roald Dahl book and going for a ride in his world of wacky and wonderful characters. It was a place where my imagination could run wild and nothing was impossible.

Starting with George’s Marvelous Medicine, moving onto The BFG, The Twits and then The Witches, I read each and every book cover to cover, again and again and again. But all Dahl’s works paled in comparison to my love for one book.

Matilda.

"As a child, I loved nothing more than curling up with a Roald Dahl book and going for a ride in his world of wacky and wonderful characters." Illustration by Quentin Bryce, Image via Random House.

I wanted to be Matilda. Funny, smart, witty and wickedly clever. Matilda instilled in me the idea that adults aren’t always right. That being a kid is brilliant and that if you push yourself enough, you can achieve extraordinary things.

There was much nose wiggling on my part, in desperate attempts to make objects move. I’m sure I even once lay all of my books around my room, waiting for my powers to kick in so they could twirl in all their glory around me as the lights flicked on and off.

Then late last year, I was on my way to work when a bus zoomed right by me that ignited a flicker of excitement. ‘Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical’ in huge white and blue letters, read the side of the bus. My attention immediately turned to the girl, first firmly on her hips with her head high up in the air. It was her, it was Matilda.

"My attention immediately turned to the girl, first firmly on her hips with her head high up in the air. It was her, it was Matilda." Image: Matilda the Musical.
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As soon as I was home I immediately went online and booked two tickets to see Matilda the Musical. My partner had never been to a musical before and I knew Matilda was the exact one to take him to as his first, aware that a production of this magnitude only comes around every decade or so.

Matilda has won over 50 major International Awards, including 13 for Best Musical as well as playing to rave reviews and standing ovations. It has also been hailed by critics as a ‘Freaking masterpiece’ and, ‘The standout musical of the decade.’ Playing to crowds in Sydney, London and Broadway, it’s a massive international success.

I counted down the days like an impatient child and when the time finally arrived, my partner and I strolled into our theatre and practically took out the entire candy bar in anticipation. With popcorn, Pringles, Maltesers and wine in hand, we took to our seats where I keenly awaited to be reunited with my inner-child. A moment of this magnitude couldn’t happen without an array of drinks and snacks. Like Matilda says, ‘Sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty,’ right?

connect with your inner child
Some of the Matilda cast. Image: Matilda the Musical.

Being in the theatre felt like being a tiny part of history. As the theatre lights came down and the stage lit up, the vibe of excitement and laughter became infectious. I felt myself being taken back to that time in my childhood when I was bright eyed and so optimistic for the future. Whatever Matilda did, I could do too.

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When Matilda took to the stage, I was in awe of her vocal flair. My partner even caught me humming along to the theme song, 'When I Grow Up,' hours after the show.

We were in stitches over Daniel Frederiksen as Mr Wormwood and Marika Aubrey as Mrs Wormwood and of course, Daniel Raso as Michael Wormwood, who could make the entire audience laugh hysterically with a mere word.

"As the theatre lights came down and the stage lit up, the vibe of excitement and laughter became infectious." Image: Matilda the Musical.

James Millar as Miss Trunchbull was easy to hate but as the show progressed, I even managed to develop a soft spot for Agatha, which was incredibly unexpected. Elise McCann as Miss Honey was everything I hoped for and more. She reflected every single kind hearted teacher I had come into contact with from childhood, into my teens. She was raw, vulnerable and real.

Dennis Kelly did an incredible job as a co-writer of the play and Tim Minchin’s original songs had me singing them the entire way home, with the tunes lingering in my mind for weeks. Matilda the Musical made me laugh, think, and reflect. I won’t lie, there were some tears too.

Seeing my favourite childhood book brought to life on stage was an unforgettable experience. Leaving the theatre, I felt inspired and exhilarated to bring a little more of my inner-child into the now. After all, ‘to change the world it takes a little genius,’ and after watching Matilda the Musical, a single statement couldn’t ring more true.

Do your inner-child a favour and see Matilda the Musical. You won’t be disappointed.

How do you connect with your inner child?

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