Movie review: Matilda the Musical – 13-year-old Dubliner Alisha Weir steals the show as a clever bookworm in a hilarious new spin on the classic tale of Roald Dahl

While the phrase “musical theater” gave me a certain amount of dread, I was pleasantly surprised by the wit and energy of Matilda, an adaptation of the West End musical, Adapted from the story of Roald Dahl.

The great man’s irritation and subversion are on display a lot in this fun and entertaining walk directed by Matthew Warchus, the stage show’s co-creator.

Matilda Wormwood (Alisha Weir) is a child prodigy. At just nine years old (in Dahl’s book, she’s five), she’s happily passing Moby dick and Great expectationsand can do algebra in her sleep.

The lead role has been taken by newcomer and Knocklyon native, 13-year-old Alisha Weir.

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(From left to right) Winter Jarrett-Glasspool as Amanda Thripp, Ashton Robertson as Nigel, Alisha Weir as Matilda, Rei Yamauchi Fulker as Lavender and Andrei Shen as Eric in Roald Dahl’s musical Matilda the Music. Photo: Dan Smith/Netflix

Weir originally auditioned for the life-changing part via Zoom due to the Covid-19 pandemic. After traveling safely, she finally got a chance to audition in person, and two weeks later, she got a phone call saying it was hers.

“We got a call on my mom’s birthday to say I’d got the role of Matilda,” the actor told The sunday world at the film’s VIP screening in Dundrum earlier this month.

She added that her favorite part of filming was meeting the rest of the cast and crew. “Because I’m from Ireland, I met a lot of new friends that I still have to this day, and also met all the great actors and actresses. Especially admire them, it’s all the same as the main cast, just admire them, because I grew up watching them in all these movies and then actually getting to be in a movie with they were really crazy in my first big movie.

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Emma Thompson as Agatha Trunchbull in the musical Matilda. Photo: Dan Smith/Netflix

The new film sees Weir in her first big role facing off against big names like Stephen Graham and Andrea Riseborough.

Graham and Riseborough play Matilda’s terrible parents, who make Matilda sleep in the attic and call their child “he” and not “she” for reasons that are still unclear and consider her to be her. “a complete eccentric”. (Matilda returns, dyes her father’s hair green and sticks a homburg hat over his head.)

But Matilda faces another test when she is sent to Crunchem Hall, an elementary school that has lost all hope. “None of you is special!” claims a banner in the school hall, run with merciless efficiency by Agatha Trunchbull (Emma Thompson), a former champion hammer thrower with the personality of the Tasmanian Devil.

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Lashana Lynch as Miss Honey in the musical Matilda. Photo: Dan Smith/Netflix

Realizing Matilda’s talent, the kind teacher Miss Honey (Lashana Lynch) asks Trunchbull if she can be transferred to a higher grade. But the headmistress, who hates smart clogs, or any kind of talent, instead starts crushing on the girl, who would prove to be very resourceful.

Thompson threw herself into these least glamorous roles, pacing around in Frankenstein boots and using pigtails to throw an unfortunate child into the next field. Dahl’s temptation to “clean up” the story flashbacks is largely countered, and the tone that strikes is pleasantly animated, only cruelly joking.

The songs are mostly hits, and the mood of the film lies between Annie and the 1970 musical Oliver! Lynch, most recently seen as a Bond assassin and an Amazonian warrior, shows her range when playing the sweet and passive Miss Honey. Weir is a revelation as Matilda, singing, dancing and acting her way through this hectic drama with great conviction. She has a burning talent.

Rating: Four stars

(PG, 117 minutes)

Matilda The Musical opens in cinemas nationwide this Friday, November 25, and will be available on Netflix next summer. Movie review: Matilda the Musical – 13-year-old Dubliner Alisha Weir steals the show as a clever bookworm in a hilarious new spin on the classic tale of Roald Dahl

Fry Electronics Team

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