Members say: Entertaining, Clever, Delightful, Funny, Great staging

About the show

The Royal Shakespeare Company's adaptation of Roald Dahl's beloved children's book, 'Matilda' is the story of an extraordinary girl who dares to take a stand and change her own destiny.

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'Matilda' is the story of an extraordinary little girl who overcomes rotten parents, a terrifying school, and a vicious head mistress....and proves that even if you're little, you can do big things. Based on the beloved children's book by Roald Dahl, 'Matilda' is a new musical that revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination and the inspiring story of a girl who dares to change her destiny.

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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

The New York Times

"Rejoice, my theatergoing comrades. The children’s revolution has arrived on these shores, and it is even more glorious than we were promised. Matilda works with astonishing slyness and grace to inculcate us with its radical point of view. It is about words and language, books and stories. It’s about turning the alphabet into magic, and using it to rule the world." Full Review

New York Post

"For once, you can believe the hype. A treat for ears and eyes, brain and heart, the glorious “Matilda” has it all — plus lasers! A treat for ears and eyes, brain and heart, the glorious Matilda has it all." Full Review

New York Magazine / Vulture

"Matilda is an irresistible, whiz-bang musical, especially in its ingenious staging, which is like a cabinet of wonders constantly opening in unexpected ways.' Full Review

New Yorker

"Directed with head-spinning alacrity...all the principals are stalwart and right-minded in their work, and that only adds to the strength and the wildness of the show, which you can’t put on pause. Nor would you want to." Full Review


"“Matilda” turns out to be an explosion of joy, the most exhilarating and flat-out best musical since “Billy Elliot” riotously enjoyable that if the figures can be made to work, its future could be limitless." Full Review

Time Out New York

"Matilda is a kids’ musical, not a musical that happens to be about a kid. As such, its attractions may be limited to younger spectators and die-hard Dahl fans. That would be a pity, since Matilda is wickedly smart and wildly fun; if your rotten mum or dad won’t go, I suggest nicking their wallets and buying tickets yourself." Full Review

New York Theater

"There is much to like in what is unquestionably one of the best new musicals of the Broadway season. 'Matilda' offers dazzling stagecraft, a faithful and intelligent book, and clever lyrics. The production also, however, sometimes feels in need of a translator...There is something a touch Miss Trunchbullish in hiring almost all American actors and forcing them to put on British accents, which wind up being difficult for the audience to decipher." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"Capturing the unique flavor of Roald Dahl’s classic 1988 children’s novel, this funhouse fairy tale is by turns riotous and poignant, grotesque and menacing, its campy comic exaggeration equaled only by its transporting emotional power. I can’t wait to see it again." Full Review

The Wall Street Journal

"The makers of "Matilda" have done the impossible—triumphantly. They've taken Roald Dahl's popular children's novel and turned it into a big-budget musical that is true enough to the book to satisfy its youthful readers, yet sophisticated enough to delight childless adults who normally wouldn't be caught dead partaking of such kid stuff. It's smart, sweet, zany and stupendous fun." Full Review

Chicago Tribune

"Matilda is the spunky, over-achieving, proto-feminist, grrl-power heroine of what is far and away the best new musical of the Broadway season. Indeed one of the best family-oriented shows of any season, and a grand cultural experience in the tradition of the Royal Shakespeare Company." Full Review

New York Daily News

"A spiky and lavishly inventive new Broadway show...The score is a jaunty and agreeable mix of ditties, doodles and jingles that feel right for “Matilda”’s cartoonish qualities." Full Review

The Associated Press

"Matilda arrives in New York with plenty of hype and awards, and it mostly delivers a thrilling blast of nasty fun, even if it's a bit swollen and in need of some fine-tuning." Full Review


"Book writer Dennis Kelly finds the right tonal balance for this tricky, quirky material—creepy yet wistful—as does composer-lyricist Tim Minchin with his spunky, tuneful score. Director Matthew Warchus holds all the myriad elements together for a funny, touching but never over-the-top production...It does an outstanding job exploring the magic of childhood—its many pains as well as its joys." Full Review


"The show, adapted from Roald Dahl's mordant 1988 children's book, is a surprisingly low-tech pleasure. Director Matthew Warchus, a master of character-defining physical comedy, has put big handfuls of tiny gifted actors and monstrous authority figures into a relatively simple set of Scrabble-like alphabet tiles and towers of bookshelves." Full Review


"One of the greatly appealing things about Matilda is the way the musical conjures up a special world with its own distinctive people and rules of behavior. With its pizazz, humor, style, intelligence and all-around entertainment quotient, Matilda is far and away, the best new musical seen this season." Full Review

The Washington Post

"“Matilda,” by some large and tickling measure, is the most splendiferous new musical of the year. With a delectably clever score and a slyly evocative book, the musical, is distinguished by its wonderful look and a caliber of choreography for young people you rarely ever experience." Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

"The most engaging theatrical evenings on Broadway of the past few years need no stars to work their magic. Matilda belongs in such company. I found the songs fairly disposable, the storytelling a little slack, and the sound design muddy...But both kids and adults can watch this marvellous production and experience an escape from the usual Broadway-musical fare, which treats them as dolts." Full Review

Village Voice

"The show's over-the-top level can be tiring--almost running over the audience--and a lot of the songs are wordy emissions that sound more work-in-progress than classic stage tunes. Still, it's a kiddie show done with spirit, audaciousness, and a minimum of cheap sentiment. Matilda will surely go waltzing home with some Tonys." Full Review

USA Today

"The U.K.-based Matilda the Musical is the smartest musical to arrive on Broadway in years. But Matilda is also affecting, and enchanting, in a way that homegrown hits of late haven't been." Full Review

Village Voice

"It relies on loud noise, constant aimless movement, an incessant barrage of flashing lights, and trick effects...The show’s oddity is made even odder, in Warchus’s largely thug-handed production, by its occasional lapses into tenderness and quietude, which feel less like the musical theater’s customary changes of pace than like the moments of exhaustion that follow manic episodes." Full Review


"One of the most ambitious, energetic and technically mind-blowing stage musicals ever. Everything here, from Peter Darling’s acrobatic choreography to Rob Howell’s unique set, make it difficult to leave the theater without feeling, as the Brits say, 'gobsmacked.' Tim Minchin’s score is rich and textured on so many levels...From the opening number to the finale nothing here is conventional, but it all works, making 'Matilda' an instant classic." Full Review


"A meticulously calculated production offers coup after coup de théâtre as it tells Dahl’s fantastical tale of a 5-year-old girl who’s a genius. The show is strenuously entertaining, as dark as it is funny, and just a tad cold...Matilda the Musical resembles nothing so much as a highly sophisticated machine. It’s built to dazzle, and it does." Full Review

Entertainment Weekly

"This London-bred phenomenon captures the wonder and innocence of childhood, but also the frustrations that face kids confronting the bitter unfairness of the adult world. You will probably find yourself responding like a just-tucked-in child at bedtime. You want to shout, ”Again!” and demand that the cast start over from the very beginning so you might catch everything that you missed — and revel in everything that you savored the first time around. Aren’t those the best kinds of stories?" Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

"In some ways, the original innocence of the piece has been lost. There’s a harder-edged quality to the New York staging: the general tenor is louder and more exaggerated...but the tremendous heart and intelligence of the piece remains undimmed." Full Review

Stu on Broadway

"Except for a bit of tedium in Act II, 'Matilda' delivers an enchanting and magical theatrical experience to audiences both young and old." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

Funny, Delightful, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging

See it if First, If you like the movie, you like the play. The music score is good and the acting is good too. Its not 100% like the movie.

Don't see it if If you don't have a kid side, and hate musicals and dancing.

Clever, Quirky, Disappointing, Entertaining, Unmemorable

See it if you like kids, kid musicals, kid talent.

Don't see it if you dislike kids as main characters, kid stories, un-remarkable musical numbers,

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Adorable

See it if Impressive Matilda who delights the audience with highly meticulous and adorable monologues. Crafty effects and a warm-hearted finale

Don't see it if Mediocre musical numbers and no deviations from the source material.

Delightful, Enchanting, Great acting, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if you want to enjoy and have great fun.

Don't see it if you don't have a kid's spirit.

Also Very entertaining, fast, with lots of movement with the actors and the... Read more Read less

Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if Source material fan. Not Oliver, but that's ok.

Don't see it if Missing a heart.

Funny, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you want light and delightful show.

Don't see it if you want an elaborate storyline.

Funny, Entertaining, Loud

See it if you love Roald Dahl. This is a fantastic adaptation. The kids are great!

Don't see it if you do not like children screaming.

Epic, Great acting, Intelligent, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You are seeking an amazing kid-friendly show, enjoy the movie, love special effects.

Don't see it if You do not enjoy laser effects.

Intelligent, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you're looking for a great kids show, or you're just looking for a show with great staging and performances.

Don't see it if you don't like Tim Minchin's music or the "Matilda" book/movie storyline.

Funny, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Must see

See it if you want to be moved, have tunes stuck in your head for days, and be amazed at some wonderful lyrics

Don't see it if you have a really really strong connection to the film - this is nothing like it. It's far closer to the book, much darker, and far funnier

Funny, Disappointing, Slow, Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if You appreciate beautiful and charming music, small rioting children entertain you, you like bad people getting what they deserve

Don't see it if You hold kid actors to too high of a standard, you dislike kitschy humor

Clever, Delightful, Must see, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you want to bring back the joy of youth to your life. The show is an absolute delight from start to finish. A party for the senses, too.

Don't see it if it. Please. See it.

Great acting, Masterful, Must see, Hilarious, Great singing

See it if BIG, visually-dazzling shows excite & entertain you. This is a HUGE magnificent production that should have never closed. Amazing kids!

Don't see it if you don't like kids, period. I never saw the movie & don't care to after experiencing the live musical. Must-see; will hopefully return.

Clever, Delightful, Quirky, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if U wanna see a great transfer of story from film to stage made better with music. Also if u like (or love) talented kids on stage

Don't see it if U hate (or loathe) children. Also if the sight of a chocolate cake makes u feel weird with different confusing sensations at the same time

Dizzying, Quirky, Confusing, Disappointing, Fluffy

See it if you want to see a technically great but lackluster production.

Don't see it if you're expecting any heart.

Great acting, Disappointing, Entertaining, Fun, Great staging

See it if You are looking for a family-friendly show that's pretty silly

Don't see it if You loved the book. It takes entirely too many insipid liberties.

Funny, Delightful, Enchanting

See it if you love the book, the movie, Roald Dahl, or child performers.

Don't see it if you don't care for child performers or don't enjoy a theater packed with kids.

Clever, Cliched, Overrated, Entertaining, Too dark for kids

See it if you love musicals, and/or you have children (not too young) who love the book. Cleverly staged & skillfully acted & sung, but just too dark.

Don't see it if if you want a happy theme. I don't love this book and I found it a little nightmarish for young children, altho the actors are wonderful.

Also Sorry this review isn't more timely. I saw the last performance before... Read more Read less

Funny, Clever, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you enjoy Roald Dahl stories; stories about a mischievous, magical girl

Don't see it if you don't have any children to bring with you

Also It's kind of like Annie, but the songs aren't as memorable.

Funny, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you like Dahl, child actors and bright lively sets

Don't see it if you don't like child actors or weird accents

Great acting, Cliched, Overrated, Slow, Fluffy

See it if Have children with you. Lesli Margherita is in the cast. Enjoy children filled ensembles.

Don't see it if Looking for an in-depth, emotionally charged show. Looking for a direct representation of the book or movie.

Funny, Ambitious, Great acting, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if You like kids to be the protagonists. Great stage design. The kids are amazing!

Don't see it if You like mature stuff. You don't like kids.

Banal, Disappointing, Overrated

See it if You have young teenagers who may enjoy the darkness.

Don't see it if You enjoy deep, thought provoking theater. Want something more than a children's romp.

Delightful, Enchanting, Quirky, Refreshing, Great staging

See it if you are a fan of the Dahl story and want to see it imaginatively brought to life while still maintaining it's intrinsic darkness.

Don't see it if you don't cope well will child-heavy audiences (they were surprisingly well-behaved when I went, but your mileage may vary)

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if Like an interesting story.

Don't see it if You don't like kids!

Cast & Creatives (45)