Thursday, September 28

Matilda Jr – Edinburgh Academy, Magnusson Theatre

A lone pink teddy bear sits centre stage under a yellow spotlight, behind it a bare scaffold. Do not expect lavish sets, this is a stripped back and shortened, junior, version of this family favourite. But worry not, what it loses in artifice it more than makes up for in oodles of acting, singing and dancing talent, from juniors and adults alike, and a sound system to die for.

The well appointed auditorium is full and child heavy, crisps and haribos are munched, capri suns slurped. There is an expectant murmur from the packed crowd, and why not, this is after all a totally sold out run by Edinburgh crowd favourites Captivate, old hands at putting on fabulous fringe productions.

A child walks out and picks up the teddy bear, is joined by another and another until, by my calculation there are a total of 38, all singing ‘A Little Bit naughty’. Into this melee steps Olivia Patterson, as the titular Matilda, and what a Matilda she is. Despite her diminutive stature she belts with the best of them and topping her excellent acting and singing throughout she finishes the show with an aerial (no handed cartwheel). If I was the director, I would be wrapping her in cotton wool!

There is no room here to name check everyone in this fabulous production. A special mention should however go to director Sally Lyall who ensures that the whole thing flows along at a fantastic pace.

Captivate’s move to this slightly out of town venue is beginning to look like an inspired one, with loads of family friendly on-site parking, a great little theatre space, comfy seating and a sound system to die for, the future looks very bright indeed.

Running time – 1hr 15mins

Reviewer: Greg Holstead

Reviewed: 9th August 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.