“I’m right and you’re wrong, I’m big and you’re small, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
We all remember being terrified by Miss Trunchbull when reading Roald Dahl’s Matilda, and again when watching the 1996 film adaption of Pam Ferris as the appalling teacher. Now, in one fell swoop, Netflix has released the trailer to the forthcoming Matilda musical, plus the first images of Emma Thompson as Miss Trunchbull - and she’s as comically sinister as anyone could have dreamed of.
With Miss Trunchbull’s famous excruciatingly tight bun, a humongous chest, a strained-belted khaki military-style coat adorned with keys and a brutal-looking baton, a white shirt buttoned high at the neck, slightly puffed Eighties sleeves, and a new nose (Thompson is good at carrying those off) Thompson is every bit the Miss Trunchbull that continues to live rent-free in our head.
“This school is full of rebels,” commands Trunchbull as the new trailer opens. Even for adults, she has a spine-tingling power, as we all still remember the headmistress’ formidable and often brutal antics.
But fear not, the trailer does not stay scary for long: soon the sing-song and dance moves start. The school children are leaping and skipping around halls painted in sickly green, wearing grey school uniforms. Matilda Wormwood introduced herself to Miss Trunchbull with steely determination, then she’s on a hill in pyjamas flexing her arms.
There is of course a wince-worthy scene of a poor boy eating chocolate cake, our first look at Miss Honey and again Miss Trunchbull marching through the dining hall as petrified children move to the side to avoid her glare. Then she’s swinging a girl by her pigtails. Yes, we’d forgotten about that outrageous scene too.
There are going to be some major musical acts, huge choreographed performances and some incredibly catchy songs, too. The music and lyrics are by Tim Minchin, (who made the music for the original Matilda West End musical), the screenplay is by Dennis Kelly (Pulling, Utopia, The Third Day) and it is being directed by Matthew Warchus (who has been the Artistic Director of London’s Old Vic Theatre since September 2015).
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda the Musical received its West End debut over a decade ago. Since then it has been shown on Broadway, toured around the world and won numerous awards including Tony Awards and Olivier Awards.
JoiningThompson in the upcoming Netflix musical is a packed cast including Lashana Lynch (No Time to Die) as Miss Honey, Stephen Graham (Peaky Blinders, Boardwalk Empire ) as Mr. Wormwood, Andrea Riseborough (Nocturnal Animals, The Kindness of Strangers) as Mrs. Wormwood and stand-up comedian Sindhu Vee as Mrs. Phelps.
Matilda is scheduled for December 2 UK theatre release