Lilla Fleischman as MATILDA and Nompumelelo Mayiyane as Mrs Phelps. Picture: Christiaan Kotze
Bullying is not something that  we can take lightly and it can occur  in any environment, but when it  happens at home, it can break even  the toughest cookie.

But not the resilient 5-year-old  Matilda Wormwood, who finds her  escape through her love of books and  storytelling.

The excitement that filled The  Teatro theatre at Montecasino on  Sunday, October 21, was palpable as the stage came  to life with glowing letters that lit up  what looked like a huge library full of  books.

Matilda The Musical, which  runs until December 2, centres on  a fiery young girl with the gift of  telekinesis whose passion for reading  helps her overcome family and school  hurdles.

With a father who calls her names  and a mother who cares only about  her looks, at school she has to face  another bully, Miss Trunchbull the  headmistress, who believes that  one must use the rod to discipline a  child.
Ryan De Villiers as Miss Trunchbull and Kitty Harris as MATILDA. Picture: Christiaan Kotze
Any 5-year-old would be frantic,  but Matilda soldiers on.

Miss Trunchbull is so cruel, she  sends the children to the “Chokey”, a  room with spikes, woods and nails the  children have to dodge. She refers to  the children as maggots.
Miss Trunchbull – Ryan De Villers – and the maggots of Crunchem Hall. Picture: Christiaan Kotze

Even teacher Miss Honey is a  victim of Miss Trunchbull’s bullying.
Bethany Dickson as Miss Honey and Ryan De Villiers as Miss Trunchbull. Picture: Christiaan Kotze
The narrative illustrates the power  of the mind. Through words and her  imagination, Matilda brings stories to  life.

The first grader finds solace  in the library and for a change  someone – Mrs Phelps, the librarian  – always looks forward to her  storytelling and is intrigued by her  tales.

Kitty Harris as MATILDA. Picture: Christiaan Kotze

The youngster takes centre stage as  she enacts her parts and Mrs Phelps  listens closely, always hoping for a  happy ending.

While fighting her own battle with  parents who don’t care much about  her well-being, she finds a hero in  Miss Honey, who is also fighting her  own demons.

The musical takes the audience  through the experiences of this precocious little girl who eventually  manages to help Miss Honey  reclaim her life and restore her  birthright.

The duo creates an incredible  bond and both their destinies take an  unexpected turn.
Bethany Dickson as Miss Honey and Lilla Fleischman as MATILDA. Picture: Christiaan Kotze

The auditorium was full to the  brim, with the audiences cheering  and giving standing ovations every so  often.

For a live show that features  children, the show went off with few  or no hiccups.

From the school with its desks,  chairs, chalkboards and swings, to  the flawless dance moves and singing,  Matilda The Musical is a must-see for
the whole family.

Matilda The Musical is at The Teatro  Montecasino. For more information  on ticket prices and show times, visit  www.computicket.co.za

IOL