1.078.2 Matilda

Out at 5-ish for supper and a show. The show, Matilda the Musical, was at the Cambridge theater, in yet another part of London I’d never seen. It’s the Covent Garden district, although not the actual marketplace; the Seven Dials, where seven streets radiate out from a common point. Look it up on the g.map. Street view shows it nicely.

I wasn’t sure where to eat supper, so strolled around up and down the radiating streets, and found the Seven Dials Market, a large, two-level, food court, similar to a food court in a mall, maybe a bit edgier in tone and, big difference, no chain outlets, all local entrepreneurs. I walked all around and finally settled on a big bowl of ramen with chicken. Japanese food, but no asians in sight.

Then back to the theater for Matilda. This is a very silly fairy-tale story by Roald Dahl, staged with huge energy and enthusiasm. Here is the official trailer, although the images in that are out of sequence and jumbled. There is a plot and a flow, which you would never guess from that video. The kids in the show, maybe 10 of them under the age of 12, are amazing. They execute long, complex, athletic dance sequences in perfect unison, and act and sing. The lead role is apparently rotated among four girls. The one playing Matilda this night was excellent.

Nevertheless I wouldn’t give it more than four stars, first because the plot is just silly, and second because I had a lot of trouble following the dialogue. I doubt I got half of what was spoken, and less than a tenth of the song lyrics. Fortunately all the lines were backed by lots of body language and mugging, so it wasn’t hard to follow the action; but it was frustrating.

So that was Tuesday; tomorrow is the penultimate day of the trip.

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