The Civic - Auckland Live, Auckland

18/09/2017 - 01/10/2017

Production Details



The Royal Shakespeare Company’s critically-acclaimed Australian Production of Matilda The Musical will premiere at The Civic in Auckland. The strictly limited season will commence on August 18th with tickets on sale now from Ticketmaster.   The Australian Production of Matilda The Musical earlier this year reached a phenomenal milestone by welcoming its millionth patron!

The production has toured nationally for over 2 years and has just completed its Adelaide season before it makes the move across the pond to New Zealand. The winner of over 85 major international awards, including 16 for Best Musical, this RSC production of Matilda The Musical has played to sell-out houses across Australia with standing ovations at every performance.   

Worldwide, over 7 million people have seen Matilda The Musical with more than 1 million of those being Australians who have experienced this production. It is the most awarded musical in Australian theatrical history having scooped a record-breaking 13 Helpmann Awards – winning every possible musical category. Matilda was also awarded eight Green Room Awards, including Best Musical, in Melbourne earlier this year.

The Daily Review described the production as “Nothing Short of a Miracle”. The Australian said the show “Makes You Want to Punch the Air with Delight.” and Time Out Sydney pronounced the show “a Freaking Masterpiece”.

Matilda The Musical is based on the beloved novel by best-selling author Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox). It is the story of an extraordinary girl who armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny.

Matilda The Musical is directed by Tony Award® winner Matthew Warchus (God of Carnage), who helms this production with a book by Tony Award®-winning playwright Dennis Kelly and music and lyrics by Australian Tim Minchin.

The production has sets and costumes by Tony Award® winner Rob Howell, with choreography by Tony Award® winner Peter Darling (Billy Elliot), orchestrations, additional music and musical supervision by Christopher Nightingale, lighting by Tony Award® winner Hugh Vanstone, and sound by Simon Baker.

The Civic Auckland From 18th August 2017
Book At Ticketmaster: Ph: 0800 111 999

Matilda The Musical was commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company and played to sold-out audiences at the Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon for twelve weeks from November 2010 to January 2011. It transferred to London’s West End on Tuesday 25 October 2011 where it opened to rave reviews.

The New York production of Matilda The Musical opened on 11 April 2013 at Broadway’s Shubert Theatre to rapturous reviews and was celebrated on 10 “Top Ten” lists for 2013, including TIME Magazine’s #1 Show of the Year.

Matilda The Musical’s award-wining success includes sweeping the board at the 2012 Laurence Olivier Awards in London with a record-breaking seven awards, and winning four Tony Awards® and a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theater for each of the four girls sharing the title role on Broadway in 2013. 

Matilda The Musical is produced in Australia by the Royal Shakespeare Company, Louise Withers, Michael Coppel & Michael Watt with André Ptaszynski and Denise Wood as Executive Producers.

This production was originally developed with the support of the RSC Literary Department.  The work of the RSC Literary Department is generously supported by THE DRUE HEINZ TRUST.

The RSC Acting Companies are generously supported by THE GATSBY CHARITABLE FOUNDATION and THE KOVNER FOUNDATION

About the RSC The Royal Shakespeare Company creates theatre at its best, made in Stratford-upon-Avon and shared around the world.  We produce an inspirational artistic programme each year, setting Shakespeare in context, alongside the work of his contemporaries and today’s writers.   Everyone at the RSC – from actors to armourers, musicians to technicians – plays a part in creating the world you see on stage.  All our productions begin life at our Stratford workshops and theatres and we bring them to the widest possible audience through our touring, residencies, live broadcasts and online activity. So wherever you experience the RSC, you experience work made in Shakespeare’s home town.  We have trained generations of the very best theatre makers and we continue to nurture the talent of the future. We encourage everyone to enjoy a lifelong relationship with Shakespeare and live theatre.  We reach 530,000 children and young people annually through our education work, transforming their experiences in the classroom, in performance and online.  Registered charity no. 212481

About Roald Dahl and his legacy Roald Dahl (1916-1990) was the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG and many more of the world’s best-loved children’s stories. He remains one of the World’s greatest storytellers. His first children’s story, James and the Giant Peach published in 1961, was a hit and every subsequent book became a best-seller. Today, his stories are available in 58 languages and, by a conservative estimate, he has sold more than 250 million books. Many of these stories have also been adapted for stage and screen, including the 1971 film classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Wes Anderson’s acclaimed Fantastic Mr Fox, and the Royal Shakespeare Company’s multi-award winning production of Matilda The Musical. The latest Roald Dahl story to hit the big screen was Steven Spielberg’s #1 box office blockbuster The BFG in 2016. 

Theatre , Musical ,

Children nail Dahl’s genius

Review by Paul Simei-Barton 28th Aug 2017

Matilda The Musical simply gobbles up a reviewer’s superlatives – sensationally theatrical, magically enthralling, outrageously funny but also wickedly grotesque and deeply moving.

Seven years after it emerged from the Royal Shakespeare Company’s workshops, the multi-award winning and staggeringly successful phenomenon has (finally) reached our shores as an Australian touring production.

So many elements must coalesce to make a winning musical, it is difficult to identify what sets Matilda apart. For starters there are the children. Real children: spiky, belching, nose-picking, squirming, wild, revolting children – with revolting rhymes. To see these complex and demanding roles absolutely nailed by a gaggle of pint-sized prodigies is truly amazing. [More


Make a comment

Children will Listen

Review by James Wenley 27th Aug 2017

Matilda the Musical asserts its ambitions in the opening number, ‘Miracle’. Precocious children at a birthday party, dressed as ballerinas, princesses and superheroes, sing about the positive messages they have internalised from their parents as they make havoc about the stage on an ADHD sugar high: “Ever since the day doc chopped the umbilical cord, it’s been clear there’s no peer for a miracle like me!” Then it’s the parents turn to dote on their miracles: “He got a C on his report! What?! We’ll have to change his school. That teacher’s clearly falling short”. Every child is a miracle, every child is an above-average achiever.

If any parents in the audience thought they could just complacently take their little ones out to a fun-for-the-whole family Roald Dahl musical adaptation, they clue up pretty fast. Already there’s been an indictment of the whole approach to modern parenting. Yes, Matilda is fun for all ages, but it also out-Pixars Pixar, with its pointed social commentary and targeted messages to the adults. [More]


Make a comment

Truly should not be missed

Review by Leigh Sykes 25th Aug 2017

I have a confession to make. I haven’t seen all of the film version (starring Mara Wilson) of Matilda and it’s a long time since I read the book, so I feel like I am seeing this story with fresh eyes. I do know that the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) has an excellent track record for creating innovative and popular (and very long-running, in some cases) adaptations of great literature (Nicholas Nickleby, Les Misérables, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, The Canterbury Tales and Wolf Hall to name but a few), and that Matilda the Musical has been running in London since 2011. The show has been publically and critically acclaimed since its first performance, and bringing it to Auckland seems a wonderful and generous undertaking by the RSC. 

So, although I am not prepared with the story of Matilda, I am prepared for something subversive and witty (with a story by Roald Dahl and an adaptation by Dennis Kelly). I am prepared for something innovative and skilfully staged (with the RSC’s track record of musicals and adaptations). I am also prepared for something funny and moving (with Tim Minchin’s wide repertoire of comedy and satire). What I am not fully prepared for is how simply sensational this production is.  

Encountering the set (designed by Rob Howell) for the first time, before the show even begins, is simply breath-taking. Hundreds of books and letters seems to float around the edge of the proscenium arch and the stage itself. My son quickly spots many words within the letters, starting with ‘burp’ and happily carrying on from there.

Throughout the show the set does an awesome job of enhancing the story without overwhelming it. It is intricate, cleverly-constructed and gives us plenty of ‘wow’ moments, my favourite being during the song ‘When I Grow Up’ at the start of the second half. I enjoy the way many scene changes are handled by the cast, energetically placing or removing set items and then disappearing.

It is worth mentioning here that all the technical elements of the show are uniformly excellent. The sound design (by Simon Baker) is superb, the costumes (designed by Rob Howell) are wonderful and the lighting (designed by Hugh Vanstone) is evocative with some great surprises. There are some fun and beautifully executed illusions (created by Paul Kieve) and the choreography (by Peter Darling) is a joy to watch, especially as some nods to New Zealand movement have been added towards the end of the show.

However, this raft of technical excellence is only one part of what makes this show special. From the moment the show bursts into life with ‘Miracle’, the whole cast performs with assurance. Choreography is precisely and energetically executed, and songs are performed skilfully and with feeling. I cannot detect any weak links in the cast, child or adult. Performances are beautifully balanced between exaggeration and subtlety, so that even though many characters, such as Matilda’s parents (Daniel Frederikson and Kay Murphy) are larger-than-life, they are still convincing and believable.

This first song sets the tone of the show, with Minchin’s lyrics ironically depicting parents who see genius in the smallest action of their little darlings, before introducing Matilda – a real genius who is unrecognised (and often unwanted) by her selfish, materialistic parents.

Roald Dahl is a writer well known for having a dark and somewhat grotesque edge to his stories, and Matilda is no different. Miss Trunchbull (a wonderfully funny and villainous James Millar), the headmistress of Matilda’s school, routinely abuses children verbally and physically, while Matilda’s parents are just as abusive to her at home. Matilda escapes into stories, but she also finds some inventive ways of standing up to the uncaring adults around her.

As a character, Matilda (an excellent Izellah Connelly at this performance) is everything we want our children to be: she has a strong moral compass; she stands up for the underdog and she refuses to give in to bullies like Miss Trunchbull. She knows what is right and is not afraid to be ‘A Little Bit Naughty’ and to take action against those who wrong her. Even though her family despises her for her love of books and stories, she is able to find other adults to share that love with.

Cle Morgan is infectiously enthusiastic as Mrs Phelps, the librarian who is thrilled by Matilda’s stories, while Lucy Maunder is sympathetic and moving as Miss Honey, the teacher who recognises Matilda’s genius, but who feels powerless to help her – at first.

Matthew Warchus’s direction and the cast’s commitment create an exhilarating, joyous show with appeal for all ages. There are too many stand out moments of wonderful story-telling and performance to list, and the standing ovation at the end of this performance suggests that other people feel the same.

For me, this truly is a theatre event that shouldn’t be missed, and I feel extremely fortunate to have access to theatre of this quality in Auckland. I encourage you to beg, borrow or steal a ticket before the show closes on 22nd October (I’m not really encouraging theft, but you know what I mean…). Go to this show: you and your family will definitely thank you for it. 


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council