The audience packed in to the Bristol Hippodrome on Thursday, excited to see a musical that has caused much hype since it was announced it was coming to the city.

The crowd at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda the Musical were treated to a fantastic spectacle, with moments of magic and genius carrying us through the iconic story.

A very simplistic set was manipulated well by the Director of the piece who saw that the cast used every bit of space on the stage perfectly.

There were a few moments that had the audience gasping.

Set changes were all well done, with some even prompting the question ‘how on earth did they do that?!’.

Another moment that thoroughly impressed me was the performance of the popular number ‘When I Grow Up’.

The choreography throughout the whole show was insanely good, considering the age of the majority of the cast.

This number was done brilliantly, with swings hanging from the top of the stage providing the opportunity for the chorus to glide over the audience.

All characters were established rapidly, with Mr and Mrs Wormwood’s characters being the largest in the early stages of the show.

Even though the relationship between them and Matilda was visible to see early on, you also felt a little bit of a hidden underlying tone through the piece.

It wasn’t that they didn’t love her, it was just that they were not able to completely understand her intelligent ways. This was shown at the end when Mr Wormwood was speaking to Miss Honey.

The characters they played were pivotal to the show, with performances so extreme it added a lot of dynamic edge.

Carly Thoms produced a believable portrayal of Miss Honey, with a warm and loving performance helping the audience to establish the relationship between her and Matilda.

Now on to the main stars of the show.

Miss Trunchbull played by Elliot Harper was fantastic. The costume and make-up combined with Harper’s voice drew an accurate representation of what the audience expect from the iconic character.

He played it superbly, getting plenty of laughs from the audience as well as a small collection of boos on occasion.

Every child deserves to be singled out for praise, the school children being played by: Charlie Garton, Oliver Dalby, Alfie Sandersen, Toby Hales, Evie Allen, Georgia Mae Brown, Lily Van Veen and Darcy Kelly on the night. They all formed part of a stunning ensemble that really helped bring this show to life through their endless energy and believable performances.

I have applauded all children in the cast apart from one, Olivia Cleverley.

Olivia’s portrayal of Matilda was simply stunning. Mature beyond her years, she was able to carry the show on her own for large periods. Her ability to maintain the audience’s interest throughout was admirable and she will no doubt have a bright future in the world of theatre.

This show was stunning, with the whole team that worked on it doing an absolutely incredible job. It is always tough when turning such an iconic film in to a stage production and this maybe explains why so many moments from the film are missed in the stage version.

There is no famous ‘pancake-making’ sequence and there is also no carrots flying in to the mouth of Matilda’s brother.

I did think there were some other issues with staging on occasion, with Matilda at one point delivering lines away from the audience towards the back of the stage, I feel this moment lost our connection to the character slightly. This was immediately built back up by the stunning Olivia.

Whilst the children did produce an absolutely brilliant performance, there were issues with understanding some of the lyrics in the show.

This was down to a number of reasons, expert writing by lyricist Tim Minchin that makes it a challenge for any performer, music that was slightly too loud in the early stages and a lack of diction from some of the children at times.

These minor details did not detract from the production at all though, with most of the Hippodrome audience giving them a standing ovation during the finale, as the cast came out for their bows on scooters.

Anybody that has not seen this production should make sure they do. It is a fun, lively, loving production that you can’t help but enjoy.

Tickets are available for the show for its run at Hippodrome, they are available at:

The show is running in Bristol until June 8.