IT IS so refreshing to have a well written musical on tour.

Matilda, based on the book by Roald Dahl, follows the journey of a little girl called Matilda who has not been dealt the best hand in life. It is funny, exciting, and magical.

Roald Dahl writes graphically for an era when it was okay to scare children and be disgusting. All characters are written with real adult themes and emotions. It does not hide away from graphic details, including the physical violence Ms Trunchball inflicts on the children.

However, it is all set in a comical way, always reassuring the audience what is happening on stage is wrong. It teaches kids important lessons about bullying, doing wrong by others and its consequences. It is a well-written piece of work for a target audience.

Musically this show is incredibly well thought through, with Tim Minchin writing every note and dot for a reason. He uses the devils triads in the piece to give the audience a subconscious sense of unease. The clever use of ‘Sondheimesk’ lyrics and faster patter songs make a serious lyric about “mashing a child to smithereens”, hilarious.

Rebecca Thornhill, Sebastien Torkia, Carly Thoms and Craige Els were amazing and let the words do all the work to make their parts hilarious. Scarlett Cecil was fantastic as Matilda, especially for a child of that age with such a big part.

My only criticism was sound. In many of the numbers, I couldn’t hear words, just a wall of sound. If I hadn’t known the show so well, I may have struggled to know what was happening.

Matilda is at Wales Millennium Centre until January 12.

By Brad Channer