Matilda

Published in 1988

-Synopsis-

Roald Dahl's Matilda won the Children's Book Award shortly after it was published in 1988, and it has continued to delight audiences ever since.

Background

-Background-

Matilda Wormwood is only five years old, but she is a genius. Unfortunately her parents are too stupid to even notice. Worse, her horrible headmistress Miss Trunchbull is a bully who makes life difficult for Matilda's teacher, Miss Honey, and her friends. But what Miss Trunchbull doesn't know is that Matilda has a trick or two up her sleeve...

Matilda won the Children's Book Award shortly after it was published in 1988, and it has continued to delight audiences ever since. Early drafts of the story were very different to the one we now know. At first, Matilda was a wicked girl who eventually used her powers to help her teacher solve her financial problems - by fixing a horse race. In the end, though, it became the magical story now known to children the world over. 

In 1996 a film version of Matilda was released. Directed by Danny DeVito - who also starred as Mr Wormwood, alongside Mara Wilson as Matilda and Pam Ferris as Miss Trunchbull - the film went on to become a cult classic. 

In 2010, The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Matilda The Musical, written by Dennis Kelly and with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, opened in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK, to great critical acclaim. The production transferred to London's West End a year later, and in spring 2013 the show opened on Broadway.

Matilda was Roald Dahl's last long children's book.

Find out more about the period in Roald Dahl's life during Matilda was published

-Roald Dahl on Matilda-

In this audio extract recorded in 1988, Roald Dahl himself talks about how he originally got Matilda "wrong..."

She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.

Roald Dahl 1

Matilda

I know you are only a tiny little girl, but there is some kind of magic in you somewhere.

Miss Honey 1

Roald Dahl's Matilda

Children are not so serious as grown-ups and they love to laugh.

Matilda Wormwood 1

Roald Dahl's Matilda

...don't worry about the bits you can't understand. Sit back and allow the words to wash around you, like music.

Mrs Phelps 1

Roald Dahl's Matilda

-Watch-

Play

Trailer for the RSC's Matilda The Musical

Adapted from Roald Dahl's story by Dennis Kelly; with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin

-Shop products-