Matilda the Musical
Matilda The Musical is the multi-award winning musical from the Royal Shakespeare Company, inspired by the beloved book by the incomparable Roald Dahl. Directed by Matthew Warchus, Matilda the Musical is the long-awaited Netflix adaptation of the Olivier and Tony award-winning musical of the same name, written by Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin.
The movie and stage musical are based on the book Matilda by Roald Dahl, originally published in 1988, and the movie-musical has been pegged for a Christmas release date. Matilda the Musical follows the life of Matilda Wormwood, a precocious and extremely intelligent five-year-old who lives in Buckinghamshire. Matilda is an avid reader despite her young age, quickly devouring all the children’s books in the library of her hometown before moving on to great classics that even some adults struggle to read. She reads to escape the realities of her grim home life with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood, who are emotionally and physically neglectful of their daughter.
However, when Matilda is enrolled in Crunchem Hall, a school run by the imposing Miss Trunchbull, Matilda begins to develop psychokinetic powers. As Matilda forms a friendship with teacher Miss Honey, she begins to uncover the mystery surrounding Miss Honey’s father, and learns to overcome her own internal demons, as well as her external ones. Read on for your guide to the movie’s cast and characters.
Alisha Weir as Matilda Wormwood
Matilda, the title character and headstrong student of Crunchem, is played by Irish actress Alisha Weir. Matilda is an extremely intelligent young girl, with a robust sense of humor and dry wit considered to be beyond her years. To escape from her neglectful home life, Matilda often escapes into the fantasy lands presented to her by voraciously reading books.
Alisha Weir is no newcomer to the screen, despite her young age. She has previously starred in Michael Tulley‘s horror-thriller Don’t Leave Home (2018) as well as the television series Darklands.
Emma Thompson as Miss Agatha Trunchbull
Agatha Trunchbull is the headmistress of Crunchem Hall, played by Academy Award winner Emma Thompson. Miss Trunchbull hates children, and devises twisted and eccentric punishments for children who misbehave in her school, all so that the children’s parents will not believe them when they tell them. For example, she is known to throw children into “The Chokey”, a dank cupboard that is covered in nails and broken glass.
Miss Trunchbull holds such contempt for children that she even denies having ever been a true child herself, and chases the high of her glory days as a 1972 Olympic athlete. Emma Thompson is a lauded screen veteran who has starred in classics such as Love Actually (2003), Sense and Sensibility (1995), and Nanny Mcphee (2005). She has also starred in recent blockbusters Cruella (2021) and Good Luck To You, Leo Grande (2022).
Lashana Lynch as Miss Jennifer Honey
Miss Honey, the timid and kind schoolteacher, is played by Marvel alum Lashana Lynch. Miss Honey is the neice of Miss Trunchbull, who became her primary caretaker as a child following the suspicious death of her father, Magnus Honey. Having suffered under Miss Trunchbull’s tyranny for most of her childhood, Miss Honey empathizes with Matilda and quickly takes her under her wing.
Miss Honey is the first adult to recognize Matilda’s above-average intellect, and actively encourages her reading and other academic activities. She tries to broach the subject with Matilda’s parents, but is met with disdain, and likewise with Miss Trunchbull, who refuses to move Matilda into a more advanced class. Lashana Lynch can also be seen in Marvel’s Captain Marvel (2019), as well as The Woman King (2022). Lynch also starred alongside Daniel Craig in No Time To Die (2021).
Andrea Riseborough as Mrs. Zinnia Wormwood
The part of Matilda’s vain and vapid mother Mrs. Wormwood is played by English actress and producer Andrea Riseborough. Mrs. Wormwood has nothing but contempt for her daughter, choosing to focus on her looks instead of her child’s upbringing. Never bothering to care for her family or show an interest in her daughter’s intelligence, Mrs. Wormwood instead plays bingo five times a week, and has a keen interest in ballroom dancing. Andrea Riseborough is best known for her parts in the sci-fi blockbuster Oblivion (2013), as well as her recent devastating performance as Leslie in To Leslie (2022).
Stephen Graham as Mr. Harry Wormwood
Stephen Graham stars alongside Andrea Riseborough as Matilda’s neglectful and vitriolic father Mr. Wormwood. A skeevy used car salesman, Mr. Wormwood sells broken down and written off cars for much higher than they are worth and is implied to have a side business in which he buys and sells stolen car parts. Mr. Wormwood often verbally abuses Matilda, calling her names, referring to her as a mistake and tearing up the books that she brings home from the town library. While Matilda tries to warn Mr. Wormwood against taking part in illegal activities, he rarely listens, and is instead driven by his greed to continue his shady dealings.
Stephen Graham is best known for his part as Andrew Gascoigne in the 2006 film This is England, as well as for his roles in the culinary thriller Boiling Point (2021) and the crime-comedy film Snatch (2000).
Sindhu Vee as Mrs. Phelps
Mrs. Phelps is the librarian of the town’s local library. She is good-hearted and shows concern for Matilda, because she often visits the library on her own, without a responsible adult. This especially concerns Mrs. Phelps, as the walk to the library from Matilda’s house can be dangerous. She gently encourages Matilda’s love for reading, putting together a reading list for her when she realizes that Matilda has read all the children’s books in the library, despite being stunned at her advanced intellect.
Mrs. Phelps is played by writer and stand-up comic Sindhu Vee. Vee is best known for her role as Shazia in the TV movie Bounty (2018), Libby in Mina Anwar‘s The Importance of Being Earnest (2021), and Sky Comedy: Sindhu Vee’s Live And Let Love (2018).
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