Matilda The Musical:
Earlier this week I saw Matilda The Musical and absolutely adored it. The singing and acting were both fantastic and, although I will admit that thanks to how many times I’ve watched the film it did take a little bit of getting used to seeing a different selection of actors as the cast, they were all absolutely fabulous. There was some wonderful stage work (I’m not entirely sure if that’s the right way to describe it but I loved one section where they were climbing up the school gates on some alphabet blocks and I’m amazed that they could do it, so perfectly timed, without falling). I also really enjoyed the opening to the second act but, as a reader, naturally disagree with Maltida’s parents views on books. It made me laugh numerous times throughout and the opening seemed pretty much perfect from the brief ‘First Look’ that I had of the Matilda book on Amazon once. It has a fairly dark plot when you think about it and yet, honestly, it was so, so much fun! I loved every minute of it.
My Failure To Read Roald Dahl’s Books:
I’ve got to admit though that although I’ve watched the film version of Matilda countless times and now also seen the musical that I’ve never read the book. In fact up until recently I was convinced that I hadn’t read a single book by Roald Dahl in my life which I definitely feel bad about as he’s one of those amazing authors that everybody’s heard of. I have no idea why I didn’t read any of his books as I’ve always been a reader. I guess his books might just not have appealed to me but I can’t see how when I’ve enjoyed so many of the film adaptations. But then, to be fair, I’ve always adored the A Series Of Unfortunate Events film but only ended up reading the books a couple of years ago.
My Attempt To Read One:
When I was younger I did take one of his books, George’s Marvellous Medicine, on holiday with me but it was impossible to truly read. I bought the copy from a book fair at school and, when I picked it up whilst away, it was literally just a jumble of random chapters in no real order. Half of those chapters were even repeated several times within the book. Stubbornly (or from what I remember because I didn’t have anything else to read) I did read that copy but it hardly counts as it was such an odd order, with over half of the book missing, that it didn’t really make any sense. And now the only thing that I remember about that book is the ridiculously misprinted version that I’d somehow found.
The Unexpected Tale That I Have Read:
So, as it turns out, I recently found out from @BeingABookNerd that I have actually read something by Roald Dahl before although I’ve got to admit that it’s certainly not something that I’d have quickly connected with him. And I’d completely forgotten all about the short story in question until something – maybe the cover, maybe the name? – made a switch click on inside of my head, reminding me that I had read a fairly twisted story by him back at school. It’s called ‘Lamb To The Slaughter’, features a leg of lamb in a rather morbid way and can be found in ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’. Actually having looked at the list of tales within this book I’m not sure if I also had to read ‘Skin’ for school or not. I feel like it sounds vaguely familiar but I can’t say for sure.
The Film Adaptations That I’ve Seen:
■ Matilda: As I’ve already mentioned I’ve seen Matilda countless times and have always loved it. To me it feels like one of those iconic films that should never be remade because the cast is just so perfect as it is (another example of this for me is the 1968 version of Oliver). I love that the central character is such an avid reader who has powers and her own sense of justice. I love – or love to hate – the villain (and OMG she’s actually quite scary having re-watched it a few years ago). And just… well I love this film; it’s as simple as that.
■ Charlie/Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory: I’ve seen both the 1971 version of this and the more recent one and, as far as I can remember, I thoroughly enjoyed both of them. I remember the older version more vividly for some reason although one day should probably try to re-watch them both. I love the setting – because who doesn’t want to explore Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory? – and the characters of this so much.
■ The Witches: I remember always really enjoying this film although I also think that there were parts of it that really freaked me out. That painting for one. And then, of course, what the witches within the film were actually up to. I still must have watched it one hell of a lot of times though as I can remember certain scenes from it quite well even after all these years.
I’ve also just seen that this is being remade in 2020.
■ James And The Giant Peach: This is the film that I remember least well but I still think that I enjoyed it. I think it was part live action, part animated? To be honest my strongest memories are of James’s aunts who fascinated me for some reason :L
The Books That I’d Most Like To Try And Read:
Okay so I’m not entirely sure how I’ll get on with reading a children’s book at my age although I know that a lot of people still love these books so I do want to try and check them out sometime. Plus I really feel like I need to have read at least a few Roald Dahl books in my life. And, honestly?, it’s worth giving them a chance as they’re not particularly long as far as I know. Mostly I’m worried about getting them out of the library and looking odd but I think that most of them are available as ebooks anyway.
It goes without saying that I want to read this one and I find it rather ironic that I’ve seen the film but not read the book in this case considering the main characters love of books.
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory
Again it kind of goes without saying that I’d like to read this considering my past enjoyment of the films. I’m really looking forward to seeing Wonka’s factory in text.
Naturally I want to try this one of his books, if I get along with the first okay, as I’m really intrigued by his take on witches and, again, it’s a film that I saw countless times growing up.
James And The Giant Peach
Again I basically want to read this because I’m fairly certain that I enjoyed the film. As this is Roald Dahl’s first book for younger readers it makes sense to include it for that reason too though.
George’s Marvellous Medicine
Since I started it in the past then I’d like to finish it tbh.
Tales Of The Unexpected
I basically want to re-read this to refresh my memory (and figure out if I ever actually did read Skin too). Plus it will be nice to read some of Roald Dahl’s other work.
So those are my experiences with Roald Dahl – mostly in films – and the books of his that I one day plan to read. Hopefully I will at least get to Matilda this summer.
Don’t forget to check out @BeingABookNerd and read her fantastic post ‘My Favourite Childhood Books‘ which is what reminded me of a Roald Dahl story that I never would have remembered, or connected with him, off of the top of my head. It also contains some other really great examples of childhood favourites, some of which I also still need to read!
Have you read Roald Dahl’s books in the past? Have you seen Matilda The Musical? Did anyone else have to study any of his ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’ at school? What’s your favourite book of his? Whatever you want to say related to the subject I look forward to hearing from you.