Wednesday 27 February 2019

Matilda The Musical (with Backstage tour)

Adapted from one of Roald Dahl's books told in 1988 and directed into film in 1996, Matilda the musical made its way to theatrical stage in 2010. And today, to the shore of Singapore, at Marina Bay Sands. The Singapore season marks the first time this hit musical has ventured to Asia, having toured to Australia and New Zealand from 2015 to 2017.

Matilda Wormwood is a young girl who is extraordinarily genius. Unfortunately, though, Matilda is unloved by her parents who are constantly glued to the TV and who think that reading books is weird. Her Mum firmly believes that looks are better than books. They do not understand her, and often treat her badly. And when Matilda starts school in Crunchem Hall, she met her tyrannical headteacher Miss Trunchbull who loathes children, treats the students horribly and calls them maggots.

Matilda's wit is out of this world, it encompasses a little naughtiness as she plays tricks on her family to get back at them for mistreating her. Looking at her smartness, strength and fearlessness, it exemplifies bravery in both little girls and adult women to take a stand and change their own destiny when being bullied. Hard days do not last, we will meet an angel. Matilda's teacher, Miss Honey is one kind and gentle lady who befriended her and believed in her potential.


We are most thankful to have caught this musical from the pages of a book, communicated through songs, dance and visual characterization. Our kids have read the book and watched the movie countless times. We cannot deny Matilda's wit is out of this world!

The 'revolting' children! Maggots!

The musical has a beloved soundtrack made with catchy tunes and witty lyrics. We specially love the song Matilda sang, Naughty. And each time she sings, we can anticipate a clever mischief up her sleeve. Clever mischief is one that will not be uncovered. Don't tell my kids I said that. We specially love this part of the lyrics that goes, "Just because you find that life's not fair it doesn't mean that you just have to grin and bear it. If you always take it on the chin and wear it. Nothing will change... ... Sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty" 

Join the Revolt!

4 Matildas and their signature poses

I know, what does this song teaches little kids about being naughty?!! One will only know if you share the same fate as Matilda, an injustice childhood. Along the way, Matilda discovered that she has superpower to move things with her eyes, and that was incredibly some 'magic show' we witnessed as being part of the audience. It was some murmuring moments of, "How is that possible?!" Keep your eyes fixed too on the scene where cruel Miss Trunchbull held a girl up by her pigtails and seemingly hurled her across the 'theatre'. That was a scene amazingly portrayed!

This approximately 2.5 hours of musical kept the kids and our eyes fixed on stage, scene after scene. Oh, be back slightly early during the interval because Mr Wormwood (Matilda's Dad) will be around to entertain a little before the next scene unveils. And what the ending unfolds is a bitter sweet one, not much of a twist from the book and movie, just more casts joining in.

And for the minority percentage of those who did not know, Matilda is played by our local talent who is half British and half Singaporean. 9 year old Sofia Poston is one of four young actresses who took turns starring the title character. She is truly inspirational.

Great job, Matildas!

Dorothea and us with Mr and Mrs Wormwood

The set design is glorious and filled with huge amounts of detail and charm. It somehow makes me think of the board game, Scrabble. With letters and words sprawled across the stage as an intelligent setting of the musical theme. 

Welcome set

The swings that the casts sang "When I grow up" with was brilliantly engineered in span of years. They are really woody sturdy!

An unusual audience view

I always had impressions of backstage being like a store house filled with frantic crew before and during each show. But not as I had imagined, every prop, set and accessories are neatly stowed and placed for quick change over. Which means the props for every set is ensured with ample space for moving in and out of stage. Nothing is placed in its way. The props are also cleverly designed with technology and great mobility. For instance, the desks of the classroom are on wheels at the release of a lever. Moving in and out of stage gets swifter.

Showing how the table moves

Spacious layout
Look what was seen on Ms Trunchbull's desk?! A detention book list. Of those who do not do their rehearsals properly. The main point is, there are details in it! Not just a book prop.

Chokey list!

The make up table for quick change over. Wigs do wonders to a look.

Makeup table
And this boy scored a photo with Ms Trunchbull's chair! If you can try to see too, the school's badge, Cruchchem Hall (seen also on the students' blazer) was designed by Quentin Blake, illustrator of Roald Dahl's books. 

Oh, and Ms Trunchbill was intended to be a man, to make his role stand out at a gigantic terror.

Ms Trunchbull's chair

See the smaller props neatly stowed in this cupboard. Every prop has a proper placing. But I have not been to chokey. Chokey is a very tall but narrow cupboard that is 10 inches square so no one can sit or squat in it. It closely resembles an iron maiden. This quoted from the novel.

Props' home

These 'CCTVs' that Ms Trunchbull watches slides onto the stage like a pulley. Instead of going up and down, it goes sideways. So it is really fast to get it out on stage at one pull.

Impressive stage set

So yeap, that's a simple backstage tour we had. All sets and props are brought over and along to whichever country the musical is touring. Takes a day to pull down, but 3 days to put it all up. So much work behind the scene which we often do not know.

Matilda The Musical is playing at Marina Bay Sands from 21 February to 17 March 2019. With unlikely news of extension. Young Matildas shouldn't be doing overtime. We have also shared some short clips of the preview scenes on our Instagram handle @mumscalling. But nothing beats to to catching it live for the full atmosphere and experience. It is a worth to watch show that delights every young and old audience. A highly entertaining and unforgettable family musical!

To purchase tickets visit Sistic. Kids below 3 years old may enter without a ticket. We had the 2 year old in tow to the theatre. It was his first musical which he sat and slept through with minimum fuss. Quite an achievement for us.

'Back to school' with Matilda

A family that totally supports reading and learning!

Event Date
Thur, 21 Feb - Sun, 17 Mar 2019 Tue - Fri: 7.30pm
Sat: 2pm and 7.30pm
Sun: 1pm and 6pm
Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands
Ticket Pricing
(Excludes Booking Fee)
Tue - Thu
VIP Reserve : S$178
A Reserve : S$158
B Reserve : S$138
C Reserve : S$108
D Reserve : S$88
E Reserve : S$68
VIP Box (For 4 seats): S$712
Box Seat (For 4 seats): S$632
Fri - Sun
VIP Reserve : S$198
A Reserve : S$178
B Reserve : S$158
C Reserve : S$128
D Reserve : S$88
E Reserve : S$68
VIP Box (For 4 seats): S$792
Box Seat (For 4 seats): S$712
Disclaimer: Tickets were given for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was given.