Matilda is to launch its first U.K. and Ireland tour, beginning performances March 5, 2018, at Leicester's Curve before going on to visit Dublin, Sunderland, Milton Keynes, Birmingham, Manchester, and Cardiff. Further dates and cities for the Olivier-winning musical will be announced at a later time.
The West End production continues to run at the Cambridge Theatre. The tour will be accompanied in each location by a new education program to engage young people. The Royal Shakespeare Company aims to reach over 15,000 children though programs including a traveling library run by the musical's nurturing Mrs. Phelps and whole-school takeovers.
In a statement, book writer Dennis Kelly said, “It’s been a long time coming but I’m delighted that we get to take Matilda around the U.K. and to Ireland. We have some fantastic theatres in this country and in Ireland, supported by smart, engaged audiences and we can’t wait to bring this crazy, messy, anarchic explosion of a show to them.”
Composer and lyricist Tim Minchin adds, “I—like millions of others—feel like Dahl is in my blood, because I grew up with his books. So to have contributed to a piece of work that brings one of his most famous stories to life is one of my life's great joys. I’m utterly thrilled that audiences in cities all across the U.K and Ireland will now share and be part of Matilda’s story.”
Inspired by Dahl’s book, Matilda was commissioned by the RSC and premiered at the Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in November 2010 before transferring to London’s West End the following year. It subsequently opened in April 2013 at Broadway’s Shubert Theatre, where it won four Tony Awards and a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theater for the four girls sharing the title role. The Broadway production played its final performance January 1, 2017.
Matilda is produced by the RSC with André Ptaszynski and Denise Wood as Executive Producers. The production was developed with the support of Jeanie O’Hare and the RSC Literary Department. The show is directed by Matthew Warchus and features designs by Rob Howell, choreography by Peter Darling, orchestrations, additional music, and musical supervision by Christopher Nightingale, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, sound by Simon Baker, and special effects and illusions by Paul Kieve.
Tickets for the Leicester, Dublin, Sunderland, Milton Keynes, Manchester, and Cardiff engagements will go on general sale April 26 following a priority booking period. For full touring dates, visit MatildatheMusical.com.