The international success that is Matilda the Musical has finally reached our humble town of Melbourne. One of the faces behind the Tony award winning production is Australian songwriter and comedian, Tim Minchin. The ABC will premiere the documentary Matilda and Me, a piece lovingly presented by Nel Minchin- the sister of songwriter Tim. Nel focuses on the quest of fame by Tim Minchin before the musical. A subplot of the Sydney production of Matilda the Musical, which premiered in Australia in 2015, is also included. But it should be noted that this was a minor piece to the story of Minchin; as the documentary is dedicated to the slow successes and endeavours that were faced before he achieved fame through comedy, theatre and the Roald Dahl production. He shares the influence of Dahl’s books throughout his work and life, yet also shares on his practically overnight international success after years of hard work; as well as his creative processes to creating a mixture of humour and emotion into his theatrical efforts in Matilda the Musical.
Although Matilda and Me was set out in an insightful and interesting way, the title does expect it to be more on the musical production of Matilda. Nonetheless, it was still an entertaining documentary to watch. The insights to the character and story of Matilda were, although small, a wonderful insight to the beloved childhood story. The glimpses into the 2015 Sydney production gave a small taste of what to expect in the Melbourne production; a wonderful and genuine effort of a Dahl adaptation.
There are a myraid of interviews, including Roald Dahl’s wife, Felicity Dahl, story writer Dennis Kelly and even Andrew Lloyd Webber makes an appearance. Mara Wilson, the 1996 film lead in Matilda, appears to provide insight into the character that is Matilda; an exciting addition to those who were fans of the Danny Devito film adaptation.
The sentimental yet professional Nel Minchin succeeds in presenting her brother in his usual entertaining manner. Rather than this being a major advertisement of the musical, it portrays a somewhat humble musician who admits to once not knowing how to read or write music. His creative processes are interesting to see, and despite achieving success that some may only dream, he is still a relatable character. This man has achieved so much, yet rather later in his life; it speaks to the inner artist in all of us, that success might be, eventually, just a footstep away.
Matilda and Me, 7:40pm, Sunday April 3rd