There are a lot of inspiring stories in this world, and for me, some of the best can be found in Musical Theatre. Some people think musicals are all about the fun, the glitz and the glamour, but really there are some truly inspiring stories intertwined with all of that. Stories of overcoming the impossible, reaching for your dreams and fighting adversity. At first, whilst enjoying the show, you may not realise the true depth of the story but it’s there and I believe that we can learn a lot from the stories of the musicals.
On International Women’s Day, there was a lot of talk on social media about the most inspiring women in musical theatre. Plenty to choose from but the twitter tag that really stood out to me was Be More Matilda. Despite being the smallest leading lady in the West End, Matilda is certainly inspiring, and the show as a whole has this wonderfully motivating story. So why should you choose to ‘Be More Matilda’?
Matilda the Musical, whilst being full of fun and humour, has an incredible story of fighting for what is right at its heart. It is a classic little versus large story, with a little girl coming up against her giant of a headmistress, with Matilda determined to turn the tables. Matilda the musical creates a world where children can teach adults the lessons they deserve and teaches the audience that you can do anything as long as you are determined.
Little Matilda Wormwood, despite her size, is stubborn and won’t take no for an answer. She knows that it is not right that Miss Trunchbull treats the students of her school like prisoners, or that her parents treat her like dirt, and she is intent on teaching them a lesson. As she says, ‘Even if you find that life’s not fair, it doesn’t mean that you just have to grin and bear it’. Matilda is a strong character, she knows that things need to change, and she uses her incredible mind and fighting spirit to prove everyone around her wrong and change her life for the better.
In Musical Theatre, there are a few characters that champion the idea that ‘Even if you’re little you can do a lot’ and Matilda is just one of them. You could also mention Les Miserables Gavroche, the tough talking urchin who fights to the death alongside the rebellious students, or Barnum’s General Tom Thumb who uses his circus act to celebrate his small size with a proud proclamation that Bigger isn’t better.
Despite her size and the fact that the clear majority of the adults around her want to silence her, Matilda comes out on top. She fights against it all, using her brains and her determination to right all the wrongs in her life. Matilda is inspired by the stories she reads in her books, and she understands how those characters could have changed their stories. With that inspiration, she is able to change her own story. She believes that the biggest event can begin with the tiniest start, and even though you’re small, you can do anything you want to do.
Matilda the Musical teaches everyone who watches it a wonderful lesson. It tells everyone that if you have a problem, you shouldn’t just sit around and let it get on top, because that is a way of saying that it’s okay, when it really isn’t. The show teaches that you are the creator of your own story and no one else can write that story for you.
So, whether you decide to be the tiniest mite who packs the mightiest sting or decide to take advice from Mrs Wormwood and Rudolpho in Loud and give yourself permission to shine, maybe it’s time to decide to Be More Matilda.
Article written by Becky Wallis