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Matilda the Musical – meet Alisha Weir, the leading lady of the new movie

We attend the world premiere of the stage show's film adaptation

Alisha Weir
© WhatsOnStage

Last night, the Southbank Centre was anything but "Quiet" as a whole host of revolting children (and adults) took to the red carpet at the Royal Festival Hall for the world premiere screening of Matilda the Musical.

Produced by Sony's TriStar Pictures and adapted from the beloved RSC stage show, which took home the WhatsOnStage Award for Best New Musical in 2012, the movie is scheduled to hit UK cinemas on 25 November 2022.

Alongside such seasoned screen veterans as Emma Thompson, Stephen Graham and Andrea Riseborough – as well as shooting star Lashana Lynch – a 13-year-old girl named Alisha Weir is already standing comfortably in the spotlight.

Born in Dublin, Weir is now set to conquer the world as the face of the hotly anticipated new cinematic version of the Roald Dahl classic and proved herself a complete professional on the red carpet last night. Indeed, Sindhu Vee, who plays librarian Mrs Phelps in the film, commented on her co-star last night: "When I grow up, I wanna be as focused an actress as Alisha Weir!"

"I loved seeing it," Weir told us, when asked about her thoughts on the original stage show. "And I think there is a big difference. But I think I loved how all the characters were portrayed in a different way. And I loved seeing how different it was from our version."


@whatsonstage We attended the world premiere of Matilda the Musical, and met Alisha Weir! #Matilda #MatildaMovie #MatildaTok #Musicals When I Grow up (feat. Lauren Ward & Bailey Ryon) - Original Broadway Cast Of Matilda The Musical & Various Artists


Dennis Kelly, who wrote the book for the musical and adapted it for the film's screenplay, also spoke to us candidly about the diferences between the stage and movie versions. "Well, the main difference is… I mean, stage, as you know, is a very metaphorical medium," he remarked. "On stage, you can have one actor playing twenty parts. You can't do that on screen. The screen's very literal. When you see something on screen, you go: 'Well, that's not the same person.' And if you extrapolate that to every other little aspect of what's going on on screen, you soon see that you need to find out more about the world of it and make more decisions about getting it on screen. That was what was difficult. But also, structurally, you need a different structure on screen."

"There's a new song, which is brilliant," he continued after some further prying on our part. "There were some subplots and things that we just didn't think worked anymore, so we took those out. A few gags we took out. But there's a whole bunch of new stuff as well. So, there's stuff taken out and there's stuff put in, you know."



It's not uncommon for musical film adaptation to add an original tune or two, especially when it comes to qualifying for the Best Original Song category during awards season. But according to Vee, fans of the stage show have nothing to worry about: "So, there's one new song and it's right towards the end of the film," she revealed. "I think you wouldn't know that it's a new song though. It fits right in and it's got the same DNA as the rest of the music because it's Tim [Minchin] and he's great! In fact, I wouldn't want audiences to wonder is it new or old. The whole movie is a package. Absorb it and you're gonna love it!"

Consider us ready to absorb then, when everyone's favourite child genius hits the silver screen next month!


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