“Revolting Children:” a review of “Matilda”


This photo shows actors, playing the role of students, from the play “Matilda” performing the song “Revolting Children.” They all have their fists raised in the air seem to either be yelling or screaming. (Destination NSW / Flickr)

Matthew Sidewater, Copy Editor

“Matilda,” a musical based on Roald Dahl’s famous childrens’ book, was recently performed at The Fox Theater. “Matilda” is a musical about Matilda (hence this musical’s name), an extremely brilliant, young girl who is neglected and scolded by her parents for being intelligent, and shows both her family life and the torment she undergoes when her father sends her off to school. Her school is overseen by a deplorable principle, Miss Agatha Trunchbull, played by Dan Chameroy“Matilda” is also a musical that can be appreciated by both adults and children due to the deep themes within the play, as well as the humor on the surface.

This image shows a sign in front of the Fox Theater in Atlanta, Georgia, that reads “FOX.” The musical “Matilda” performed at The Fox Theater from April 18th to April 23rd 2017. (Matthew Sidewater)

This performance was very entertaining because the playwright and actors manage to sneak humor into serious situations. During intermission, when the play is supposed to be paused, Mr. Wormwood (played by Matt Harrington), Matilda’s con-artist father, explains to the audience about how watching TV makes people smarter, which is a falsehood, through the power of song. Furthermore, the idea of condemning smart people who read books and rewarding those who only seek to watch television is prevalent throughout the musical, not just in this scene.

Throughout the play, many other themes are conveyed by clever, small scenes. For example, the opening number, “Miracle,” expertly conveys the fact that many parents call their children miracles no matter how intelligent and gifted they are. Most parents do this because they love them unconditionally. Next, the hilarious song, “Loud,” sang by Darcy Stewart and Stephen Diaz, represents the common misconception in society that society stereotypically frowns upon women being intelligent. Hazing younger children is also a theme of this musical, as as heard in “School Song.” Perhaps, though, the two most important themes are helping others when life is unfair to them, and being able to choose the ending to your own story.

Nevertheless, these songs are all sung expertly by great cast members, such as Dan Chameroy, who has been in a plethora of musicals, including some award-winning performances. Overall, I give “Matilda” 5 out of 5 stars due to the cleverly written script, the exemplary performance of the actors, and the fascinating story. Although “Matilda” is no longer playing in Atlanta, it is currently touring in other parts of the country.