Matilda The Musical – Bradford Alhambra

MATILDA has been a huge hit with children and adults since the Royal Shakespeare Company first adapted Roald Dahl’s novel 16 years ago.

And no wonder, when this bewitching show has you rooting for its pint-sized heroine from the moment she arrives in the hospital delivery room.

We’re constantly entertained as lovable Matilda – at six years old a maths and reading prodigy – stands up to her tormentors and finally triumphs.

This is a feelgood tale with a gritty edge, a modern fairytale with a strong vein of believability within its larger-than-life characters.

Matilda is not only neglected by her parents, but constantly criticised, ignored and pushed around by a couple obsessed with their own pointless, superficial lives.

The nasty names they call Matilda are nothing compared to the treatment horrid head Miss Trunchbull doles out at a school that’s more like like a prison camp.

Matilda’s only friends are a jolly librarian and a meek-and-mild teacher, Miss Honey, who wishes she had only fraction of Matilda’s bravery.

All comes good of course, in a constantly entertaining, endlessly inventive, highly-physical production, running at the Alhambra until March 23.

Only some of the songs are as catchy as When I Grow Up or Revolting Children, but they’re all memorable thanks to the way they’re presented by the fantastic cast of kids and adults.

The diction from the adults could have been a bit clearer on the night I saw Matilda, but this is a minor quibble.

* Visit or call 01274 432000 to book tickets.