It can be daunting to cast iconic characters in new film adaptations of beloved books, but Matilda the Musical has risen to the challenge.
The movie musical is based on Tim Minchin’s acclaimed West End show and before that, Roald Dahl’s children’s book, Matilda, is about to land in cinemas for families across the UK to enjoy, before it arrives on Netflix internationally.
From the larger-than-life Miss Trunchball to sweet Miss Honey and brave young (superpowered) Matilda, the movie has a rich and wide variety of good and evil characters, each of whom is cast to perfection.
Matilda the Musical features the likes of Emma Thompson, Lashana Lynch and Stephen Graham as well as a vibrant young ensemble who play Matilda’s school friends and followers in her revolution against their bully headteacher.
Demonstrating captivating acting, surprising vocal ranges and dances memorised to perfection, this cast delivers on every element of a good movie musical.
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Want to know who they're playing and who's stepping into the shoes of the titular young heroine? Read on.
Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical cast
Emma Thompson as Miss Trunchbull
Who is Miss Trunchbull? Agatha Trunchbull, also known as The Trunchbull, is the tyrannical headmistress at Crunchem Hall school. She's a bully who enjoys terrorising both the school's pupils and its teachers, inflicting severe punishments – including stints in a dark and terrifying closet known as 'the chokey' and chucking people out of windows – for things like wearing pigtails. The character was played by Pam Ferris in the 1996 Matilda film.
Where have I seen Emma Thompson before? Emma Thompson has had a long and prolific career, having starred in many iconic films over the years, including Much Ado About Nothing (1993), Sense and Sensibility (1995), the Harry Potter franchise as Professor Trelawney, and Beauty and the Beast. She's also starred in Russel T Davies's miniseries Years and Years.
Alisha Weir as Matilda Wormwood
Who is Matilda Wormwood? Matilda is a young girl whose intelligence is very advanced for her age (which is six and a half in Dahl's book), despite her parents showing little interest in her. An avid reader, she likes to pull the occasional prank on her mum and dad. She also develops telekinetic powers, which she uses to help her classmates and her favourite teacher, Miss Honey, from the evil Miss Trunchbull. In the 1996 film, she is portrayed by Mara Wilson.
Where have I seen Alisha Weir before? Thirteen-year-old Weir is a newcomer, with Matilda the Musical currently her first credit.
Lashana Lynch as Miss Honey
Who is Miss Honey? Miss Jennifer Honey is a teacher at Crunchem Hall, and Miss Trunchbull's niece. Unlike her aunt, she is sweet, kind and develops a soft spot for Matilda. Miss Trunchbull inherited Miss Honey's father's house and wealth after his death, which Miss Honey suspects she had a hand in. Embeth Davidtz played her in the Matilda movie.
Where have I seen Lashana Lynch before? Lynch has appeared in not one but two prominent franchises – as Maria Rambeau in Captain Marvel, and as Nomi in No Time to Die. In the latter, she took over the 007 cryptonym from James Bond (Daniel Craig). She also recently appeared in The Woman King.
Stephen Graham as Mr Wormwood
Who is Mr Wormwood? Mr Wormwood is Matilda's neglectful father who doesn't recognise his daughter's brilliant intellect. Described as "loud, selfish and unkind," he is more concerned with running schemes and watching TV. He was famously played by Danny DeVito in the 1996 Matilda movie.
Where have I seen Stephen Graham before? Graham is a prolific and celebrated actor, having appeared in many popular British dramas. Most recently, he starred in BBC true crime drama The Walk-In, following his debut on Peaky Blinders. Previous credits also include Boiling Point, This Is England and Help.
Andrea Riseborough as Mrs Wormwood
Who is Mrs Wormwood? Mrs Wormwood, who was played by Rhea Pearlman in 1996's Matilda, is the titular heroine's self-absorbed mother, who neglects her daughter and is more concerned about her appearance and watching reality TV.
Where have I seen Andrea Riseborough before? Riseborough has appeared in many films and TV series since her debut in Roger Michell's Venus in 2006. She played Margaret Thatcher in The Long Walk to Finchley, which earned her a BAFTA nomination, and has had roles in Never Let Me Go, Oblivion, Nocturnal Animals, Battle of the Sexes and more.
Sindhu Vee as Mrs Phelps
Who is Mrs Phelps? Mrs Phelps is the village librarian who is in awe of Matilda's intelligence and shares her love of books. She encourages Matilda to continue reading, and does her best to support her from her position in the library.
Where have I seen Sindhu Vee before? Sindhu Vee is an award-winning comedian who has appeared in the likes of Have I Got News For You, Richard Osman's House of Games, QI, and more. Vee also hosts the BBC Radio 4 Comedy of the Week podcast. Her acting credits include playing Olivia's mother in Sex Education season 2, and appearing in Rose Matafeo's BBC series Starstruck.
Charlie Hodson-Prior as Bruce Bogtrotter
Who is Bruce Bogtrotter? Bruce is a student at Matilda's school who is forced to eat an entire chocolate cake as punishment after being accused of stealing a slice of Miss Trunchbull's personal cake.
Where have I seen Charlie Hodson-Prior before? Like Weir, Hodson-Prior is a newcomer.
Also appearing are Winter Jarrett-Glasspool as Amanda Thripp, Ashton Robertson as Nigel, Rei Yamauchi Fulker as Lavender, and Andrei Shen as Eric.
Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical will premiere in UK cinemas on 25th November and in select US theatres on 9th December before it lands on Netflix on Christmas Day. Sign up for Netflix from £6.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.
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