Roald Dahl’s spooky little girl Matilda is a smash hit with Broadway audiences. With the announcement today that Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly’s musical based on Dahl’s classic children's book has conjured up a remarkable 12 nominations for the 2013 Tony Awards, she looks set to dominate awards season too.
As well as the coveted Best New Musical nomination, Matilda is also in the frame for Best Score (Tim Minchin), Book (Dennis Kelly), Direction (Matthew Warchus), Choreography (Peter Darling), Set and Costume Design (Rob Howell), Lighting Design (Hugh Vanstone), Orchestration (Chris Nightingale), Supporting Actress In A Musical (Lauren Ward), Featured Actor in a Musical (Gabriel Ebert), Best Actor in a Musical (Bertie Carvel) and special recognition for the four actresses playing the musical’s heroine.
Matilda the Musical started life in November 2010 at the RSC’s HQ in Stratford. Originally intended as a one-off family Christmas show, public demand and national critical praise proved so great that the production swiftly decamped to the West End’s Cambridge Theatre in November 2011, where it continues to play to rapt audiences today.
It swept the board at the 2012 Laurence Olivier Awards with a record-breaking seven wins, a feat matched only last Sunday by The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time. Matilda won Best Musical, Best Actress In A Musical for its quartet of young leading ladies, and Best Actor in a Musical for Bertie Carvel’s deliciously nasty turn as Miss Trunchbull.
Original London cast members Carvel and Lauren Ward (Miss Honey) are currently reprising their roles in the Broadway production of the show, which received ecstatic praise from US critics on its opening at the Shubert Theatre last month.
The production has reportedly already recouped its £7 million investment. The ringing endorsement of the Tony committee in no fewer than 12 categories is further indication that the RSC may have a potential Broadway long-runner on its hands.