Now playing its sixth year in London’s West End, Matilda the musical has announced a new adult cast. David Shannon ( The Phantom in The Phantom Of The Opera – West End, Valjean in Les Miserables – West End) will play Miss Trunchbull with Gina Beck ( Glinda in Wicked – West End, Christine in Phantom Of The Opera – West End) as Miss Honey and Tom Edden (One Man Two Guvnors – West End, UK Tour and Broadway, Amadeus – National Theatre) and Marianne Benedict ( Cats – UK Tour, Dirty Dancing – West End) as Mr and Mrs Wormwood. The full adult cast includes Keisha Amponsa Banson, Richard Astbury, David Birch, Maria Graciano, Karina Hind, Peter Houston, Katie Lee, Vicki Lee Taylor, Kris Manuel, Bryan Mottram, Tom Muggeridge, Emma Robotham-Hunt, Simon Shorten, Biancha Szynal, Callum Train and Robert Tregoning. The new children’s cast will be announced soon. Matilda … Read more
It has to be said: Marianne Benedict as Grizabella gives the best rendition of the infamous show tune that I have ever heard; with the climactic crescendo, her pipes burst with such raw integrity and the uninterrupted audience applause (which will undoubtedly be repeated at each performance) is whole-heartedly deserved.
There was a charming mix of reverence and irreverence as well, making the audience feel specially entertained and complicit with the in-jokes. The warm up prelude, People Who Like Sondheim (performed with zing by Kit and McConnel) was good fun and the duo appeared throughout as a kind of Sondheim Statler and Waldorf with witty and barbed repartee. In the second Act though, one of the unarguable surprise sensations of the evening was a five minute romp through 33 Sondheim compositions, “Ladies and gentlemen may we have your attention please…” presented with real style and panache by Martin Milnes and Dominic Ferris. These cabaret contributions provided some much needed innovative content.