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Inside the biggest change Netflix made to ‘Matilda’ musical



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The next accommodates spoilers from the film “Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical,” now streaming on Netflix.

The ultimate 4 minutes of “Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical” are, in a manner, each a brand new ending and a brand new starting. The villainous Miss Trunchbull is not the varsity headmistress; the dim-witted Wormwoods are not Matilda’s dad and mom.

As an alternative, Matilda (Alisha Weir) and Miss Honey (Lashana Lynch) conform to take care of one another and be a part of for a transferring mid-tempo duet, written particularly for the Netflix adaptation of the hit stage present. The music — which didn’t even exist till after filming started — and accompanying montage carry to the display screen a dream the inventive staff couldn’t understand onstage.

The stage musical closes with a broad, comedic part, and “ends with two folks holding arms after which a cartwheel, which is a gorgeous, easy gesture, however you don’t get to see previous the second the place they arrive collectively,” stated Dennis Kelly, author of each the stage and display screen variations. “We did try to finish the movie in several methods, however what this second wanted was a music, a joyful launch for this little household created by these two folks.”

Titled “Still Holding My Hand,” the brand new music has Matilda and Miss Honey singing about how every thought their unlucky fates have been sealed however, as a substitute, they’re delighted to find they’ve been there for one another all alongside. “Someday I opened my eyes and seemed as much as discover that the sky had turned blindingly blue,” they sing in unison, Miss Honey with completely satisfied tears forming in her eyes. “And proper by my aspect there was you, quietly taking a stand and you might be holding my hand.”

A woman and girl laying on the ground side by side.

Lashana Lynch and Alisha Weir in Netflix’s “Matilda the Musical.”


The inventive staff opted to incorporate a brand new music whereas slicing different stage present favorites, just like the Wormwoods’ “Loud” and “Telly,” which have been shot for the film however neglected. Nonetheless, it’s deeply rooted within the musical’s DNA: It connects the themes of autonomy and self-actualization of “Naughty” with the message of the reflective ballad “Quiet,” each of that are carried out by Matilda earlier within the film, and counters the movie’s sorrowful motif of being unable to save lots of somebody by holding onto their hand.

“It’s this concept that they each wish to change the endings of their tales, however couldn’t do it alone,” stated composer-lyricist Tim Minchin. “Oftentimes, you don’t want somebody to repair all the pieces for you. What you want is somebody standing by your aspect. Simply holding your hand and never letting go, it doesn’t matter what — it looks like a small factor, however on the similar time, it’s large.”

A woman and girl stand outside, facing a large house.

Throughout filming, “Alisha and I have been simply hanging out,” Lynch says. “The digicam actually did catch all these sincere moments as a result of I actually did really feel like I used to be Miss Honey, spending hours attending to know a buddy.”


A woman lays on the ground outside as a girl does a handstand.

Matilda (Alisha Weir) cartwheels as a nod to the stage model of “Matilda the Musical.”


“Nonetheless Holding My Hand” performs whereas the 2 method their new dwelling, the identical home Miss Trunchbull as soon as stole from Miss Honey. Although the trainer is initially hesitant to enter, Matilda bravely holds out her hand, and so they’re quickly seen adorning their shared secure area. (As a nod to the stage present, Matilda even launches into a couple of cartwheels of their yard.)

Filming these glimpses of their new regular was notably enjoyable for Lynch. “It was such a beautiful day as a result of, truthfully, Alisha and I have been simply hanging out, portray and laughing and speaking about our favourite meals,” she recalled. “The digicam actually did catch all these sincere moments as a result of I actually did really feel like I used to be Miss Honey, spending hours attending to know a buddy.”

Viewers then see what’s turn out to be of Crunchem Corridor — or, because it’s renamed, the Large Pleasant Faculty, now run by Miss Honey and crammed with colour, gentle, bubbles and crafts. Reframing the place Trunchbull ran like a jail as a hub of creativity, the place kids run by the halls filled with marvel as a substitute of concern, has been a want of the inventive staff since they premiered the stage present, which concisely states, “And it was typically stated that it was the very best college in all of the land.”

“That line within the present at all times makes me cry,” stated Matthew Warchus, director of “Matilda” onstage and onscreen. “In fact, we couldn’t present all of that onstage. I knew the movie was a possibility to exchange that line with visuals, and present these children completely reworked. I discover it very emotional when the headmistress’ door opens, and Trunchbull’s workplace is now an absolute world of enjoyment and creativity.”

Children on carnival rides.

Netflix’s “Matilda the Musical” ends with a glimpse of Miss Honey’s college.

(Dan Smith/Netflix)

A large property with air balloons floating in the sky above.

The Large Pleasant Faculty in Netflix’s “Matilda the Musical” is now run by Miss Honey and crammed with colour, gentle, bubbles and crafts.


The colourful montage was initially supposed to have college students taking part in on a large water slide that led all the way down to an oversize swimming pool, “however that was going to wish numerous CGI,” stated Warchus. As an alternative, the film booked two touring truthful firms, which outfitted the schoolyard with classic carnival rides, oversize slides, video games and sweet stands for 2 days — each of which have been surprisingly sunny, regardless of largely grey and wet climate throughout the remainder of manufacturing.

“It was close to the tip of the 120-day shoot, so by then, everyone was fully exhausted, and this turned an actual deal with for everybody,” stated Warchus. “The crew had half an hour to spare after organising and earlier than all the children arrived, so we received to experience all of the rides. It was like throwing a change: Everyone turns into a toddler. Then the children turned up and we labored exhausting to get all the pieces we would have liked in-camera.”

The scene even features a giraffe, whom the scholars are feeding from an upper-level window of the varsity. “At first, it made completely no sense that there was a giraffe in there, so Matthew justified it by CGI-ing a tiny, tiny signal on the grass subsequent to Trunchbull’s statue that claims, ‘No giraffes,’” stated Kelly with amusing. “If you happen to return and verify, you’ll see it’s there for the entire movie. It’s so humorous. I find it irresistible.”