Roald Dahl’s books, it seems, were never meant for grownups. With few exceptions, adults are vile, cruel and awful in his books—leaving children to fend for themselves.
In none of the late author’s books is this formula more apparent than in Matilda, a novel he wrote just a few years before his death, but was soon turned into a beloved film and has become part of the fabric of pop-culture since.
Matilda tells the story of a truly remarkable child born to truly unremarkable parents, sent to a school that is ruled by the miserable Mrs. Trunchbull—and her torturous closet dubbed “The Chokey.” She is ridiculed and abused by all of them, in true Dahlian form. But, eventually, as is always the case in Dahl’s stories, underdog Matilda becomes a hero, with the help of her fellow students and the only compassionate adult in the entire story—the appropriately named Mrs. Honey.
The Tony Award-winning stage adaptation of Matilda is closer to the novel than the movie, so fans who only know the film may be surprised at some of the finer plot points. And, unlike the film or the book, the play is a musical—one that Time magazine called “The best since The Lion King.”
Don’t be a cruel grownup, take your favorite child of any age to Matilda, playing the Eccles from February 21-27. Tickets are available here.