Wednesday, June 7, 2023

The world premiere of Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical will open the London Film Festival

The world premiere of Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical is set to debut at the London Film Festival later this year.

The upcoming film version of the hit stage show, based on Dahl’s beloved book, will kick off the 66th edition of the festival in London on October 5, two months before its cinematic release.

Directed by Tony winner Matthew Warchus, it will star Dame Emma Thompson as Miss Trunchbull, BAFTA rising star Lashana Lynch as Miss Honey, while newcomer Alisha Weir will play the title character.

Varchus, who directed stage shows for West End and Broadway, said: “What a pleasure to open this tremendous film festival with singing, dancing, green hair and chocolate cake.

“It is a real honor to share this joyful and empowering story of a little girl’s courage and compassion at such a prestigious event.”

Stephen Graham, Sindhu V and Andrea Riseborough are also among the star-studded cast.

Screenwriter Dennis Kelly adapted the film from the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Tony and Olivier Award-winning production of the popular musical.

Tim Minchin, who previously wrote the lyrics for the musical, will create the original music and lyrics.

BFI London Film Festival director Tricia Tuttle said she was a “huge fan” of the original stage musical and that Virtus adapted her own productions for the screen with “absolute fervor and enthusiasm”.


Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical. Alisha Weir as Matilda Wormwood in Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical. Ten million. Dan Smith / Netflix © 2022

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Tuttle continued: “It is a pleasure to host the world premiere of this extraordinary all-ages musical film at our Opening Night spot and present it to audiences across the UK with Sony Pictures.

“It’s an exciting, exhilarating story about living together and fighting against the threats of the world, even when it sounds scary. Sometimes you have to be a little naughty!”

Matilda’s original 1996 film, based on Dahl’s 1988 novel of the same name, starred Welsh actress Pam Ferriss as the formidable Miss Trunchbull, while also starring Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman and Mara Wilson.


Tim Minchin will produce the original music and lyrics (Jonathan Brady/PA)

It was later adapted for the stage by Kelly, commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon in November 2010.

A year later in 2011, the musical had its West End premiere, with its Broadway debut in 2013.

The 66th BFI London Film Festival will take place from October 5 to 16, with the world premiere of Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical on the first day.

The film is scheduled to hit theaters in December.

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