Matilda and The Kitchen Sink

Was I the only one to be disappointed with MATILDA? Much as I am a fan of Tim Minchin and amazing though the set and the production was, visually, even from the back row of the gallery, it wasn’t what the critics made it out to be. Yes the kids were amazing – the choreography quirky and tricky but absolutely beautifully done – but I didn’t get a real sense of Roald Dahl’s ‘darkness’. It was more panto than theatre noir, if there is such a thing, despite the menacingly soft-voiced, cross dressed Bertie Carvel as Miss Trunchbull.

On the other hand I saw a little gem on Saturday night at the new Bush Theatre, cosily relocated to an old library, where there is a very comfortable and welcoming bar and the theatre, though not much bigger than the original, still has a great intimacyand is a lot more comfortable. THE KITCHEN SINK was a small-yet-huge play about a fairly ordinary family in Humberside. I loved it for its sweetness and observation of the tiny-yet-huge goings on within a family that is remarkable in its weird ordinariness, if I can put it that way. The writer is Tom Wells and I think I must find out more about him. It is so heartening to know such plays are being written, and produced, in this rather bleak and cynical age. And the spraying taps were memorable. Great stage management.


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