Matilda & The Tales She Told
Tell Tale Theatre
There is a certain charm to the story of Matilda and her know-it-all big brother, Charles. Given a slightly cliched conceit of the pair being the orphaned children of a more liberal Victorian family, forced to live with their uninterested and easily shocked Aunt and Uncle, it's a surprise that the plot fails to really materialise. What is more confusing is that such an obvious children's piece is advertised as straight theatre, as Matilda and her ever reliable Dolly, who only occasionally gives out bad advice, fail to live up to the academic achievements of Charles.
Showing a slightly odd musical slant on children's farce, the actor playing Charles shows an exceptional flair for both song and the violin. The story shows Matilda making up funny stories and being lambasted for it, only to have her suddenly dream of becoming the girl that cries wolf and dying in a house fire. A little bit bizarre, with such a tonal shift that it feels oddly out of place. A somewhat misjudged affair, with no real satisfying closure.
Reviewer: Graeme Strachan