When I think of books from my childhood, anything by Roald Dahl comes to mind, especially Matilda, didn’t everyone hope one day they would magically have the power of telekinesis?!? So when I was asked recently to come down and see Matilda the Musical, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of the famous book I couldn’t refuse, especially when it was accompanied by the official Matilda the Musical afternoon tea.
Our day started off with the afternoon tea, which is literally just over the road from the Cambridge Theatre at Scoff & Banter in the Radisson Blu Edwardian. I have been to the Scoff & Banter before and never realised that it was part of the hotel or that it did afternoon tea, but I love that the Matilda the Musical afternoon tea has been created for both grown-ups and children.
I always skip straight to what cakes an afternoon tea has to offer, it is generally my favourite bit, and the Matilda one doesn’t disappoint as it has some very yummy sweet treats including a Bruce Bogtrotter-inspired layered chocolate and orange cake. We were also treated to elderflower and Prosecco jelly shots, which are switched to apple mojito mocktails for the kids, a delicious strawberry tart and a classic Victoria sponge cake.
Even though I said cake is my everything, for me this afternoon tea was actual won on the sandwiches, I know I can’t believe I’m voting for savoury over sweet, but I loved the veggie alternatives I was given, including avocado, tomato, cucumber and cheese, and a jam-packed egg and watercress sandwich. I was also with a meat eater who said her ham and dried tomato on a mini baguette, which basically replaced my avocado was also scrummy.
Normally I don’t eat all my sandwiches at an afternoon tea, too busy wanting to get to the cake, but these beauties were super filling, which meant I could only manage one of my scones and I do kind of wish I had accepted the kind waiters offer to take home a goodie bag with my spare one. The clotted cream was perfection and I do love it when you get tiny individual pots of jam.
The Matilda the Musical afternoon tea is well thought out, I think both grown-ups and kids will enjoy, and it perfectly placed as it is literally just over the road from the Cambridge Theatre. The service was amazing, we never felt rushed, and there were no complaints when we asked for more tea. I would definitely recommend adding this delicious experience if you are heading to the show.
Matilda the Musical
I have to be honest I was pretty giddy waiting for Matilda the Musical to start as I’d heard such wonderful things about the show and it really didn’t disappoint. The excitement really builds as soon as you get inside as you are greeted with the most creative and elaborate set design, there are scrabble pieces literally dotted all over the ceiling and walls, it was fun waiting for the action to start spotting all the hidden words.
The set design was a highlight through, sounds geeky I know, but I really liked how they used the block concept, from using giant alphabet blocks to sit on, to piecing together a wall during one of the musical numbers, to using the block walls to separate the scenes. It seems simple, I’m not really describing it very well, but it was so effective in moving the story along as well as being visually pleasing.
The musical itself is fast-paced and thoroughly entertaining from start to finish, it doesn’t follow the book or movie as much as die-hard fans would like, for instance, Matilda’s telekinesis powers aren’t mentioned that much, but I don’t think that takes away from it being an incredible feast for the senses. The cast is superb, especially Craig Els who plays the vile Miss Trunchbull, he had us in stitches every time he was on stage, and I was super impressed with all the children, they really do sing and dance much more than their adult counterparts and they do it with ease and not a step out of place.
I can’t express what an enjoyable night out this was, I’m still humming along to the catchy tunes, and still trying to figure out how Miss Trunchbull swung Amanda around by her pigtails like an Olympic hammer. Trust me if you think that the Matilda the Musical is just for kids, you’d be wrong kids and adults alike will enjoy this brilliantly put together musical.