The Olivier Awards 2015 will be presented on Sunday 12 April at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. With the General Election still over a month away, you can practise exercising your democratic right in fabulous theatrical fashion by voting in the This Morning Audience Award. We've already told you the manifestos for Wicked,Billy Elliot, and Jersey Boys but for our final roundup, we're here to help you meet Matilda...
Composer: Tim Minchin
Lyrics: Tim Minchin
Book by: Dennis Kelly
London home: Cambridge Theatre since November 2011
Original production: Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon (RSC) - December 2010/January 2011
Based on: Roald Dahl's novel about a literature-loving four year old with psychokinetic tendencies.
Who we’re rooting for: Matilda, who sees that life's not fair and resolves that unfairness is not right. "And if it's not right, you gotta put it right". Since reading books doesn't necessarily provide much in the way of dramatic tension, writer Dennis Kelly has expanded Matilda's love to storytelling in general and, like librarian Mrs Phelps we can't wait to hear the end of Matilda's tale about the Escapologist who loved the Acrobat and what happened to their child when tragedy strikes...
Who’s standing in their way: Her uninterested parents, who devote all their attention to Matilda's lazy older brother Michael; and Miss Trunchbull a former hammer-throwing-champion-turned-schoolmistresses and who threatens to lock naughty children in the 'chokey' - a tiny cupboard filled with sharp objects.
Showstopping moment: After catching poor Bruce Bogtrotter eating some of her delicious chocolate cake, Miss Trunchbull determines that Bruce's punishment will be to eat the whole cake in one sitting. This is no mean feat when the cake is almost the size of Bruce, but Act 1 draws to a triumphant conclusion as the whole class encourage Bruce to finish the job and leave Miss Trunchbull speechless ("Bruce! The time has come to put that rumbly tum to use. You produce, Bruce, fantastically enthusiastic gastric juice") As Matilda's special powers come to light, the child actor playing Bruce makes the seemingly giant cake disappear in record time, setting the scene for more, spectacular, stage magic in Act 2....
Hidden gem: After a riotous Entr'acte in which Matilda's father extols the virtues of telly over books, there is an unexpected moment of calm when the young actors idly contemplate their future from the safety of a playground swing ("When I grow up, I will be brave enough to fight the monsters that you need to fight beneath the bed each night to be a grown up"). Other actors enter the stage not from the wings but from the giant slide upstage - and when the older 'children' run downstage to land flat on the swings on their tummies not just the music, but your heart will soar as they swing out, up and over the audience. A beautifully scored setting of lyrics with childlike simplicity, we defy you to stay dry-eyed at the end.
2012 Olivier Awards - Won:
Best New Musical
Best Actor in a Musical
Best Actress in a Musical (shared amongst the four girls who played Matilda)
Best Theatre Choreographer
Best Set Design
Best Sound Design
2012 Olivier Awards - Nominated:
Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical
Best Costume Design
Best Lighting Design
Has it won the Oliviers Audience Award before?: No
The original London cast perform at the 2012 Royal Variety Performance..
The nominees for the This Morning Audience Award at the 2015 Olivier Awards are Wicked, Billy Elliot, Jersey Boys and Matilda the Musical - to cast your vote, visit www.olivierawards.com