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"When I grow up I will be brave enough to fight the creatures that you have to fight beneath the bed each night to be a grown up..."

When I Grow Up - Matilda The Musical

Jenny, who spent sixteen years cooking meals for the Trunchbull, avoids the kitchen of The Red House as much as possible. After she moves in, Matilda spends a week tactfully eating bread and jam, before visiting the village library to borrow a book called 'Cooking For Beginners'.

After two weeks of Matilda's cookery, Jenny wonders how she ever managed without her. Matilda borrows more cookbooks from the library. She expands her repetoire to things like paella and sushi and fajitas and vows that she will never eat another of those awful TV dinners for as long as she lives.


"Just because I find myself in this story it doesn't mean that everything is written for me. If I think the ending is fixed already, nothing will change..."

Naughty - Matilda The Musical

Matilda reads faster than Jenny. She will sometimes take the book from Jenny's bedside table in the comfortable knowledge that she will be able to read it from cover to cover before it is missed. This actually annoys Jenny quite a lot, but she doesn't say anything.

Jenny reads the books left on Matilda's bedside table, but that's because she feels that it's often the best chance she has of working out what's going on in Matilda's head. For all her extraordinary qualities, Matilda is becoming a teenager with all that that entails.

Puberty reminds Matilda a little of the way she felt at five and a half, when she could move things with her mind. The excess of emotion and the feeling of explosive pressure is the same, but instead of being focused in her mind it's throughout her whole body. Overall, she thinks she preferred the telekinesis.


"Always told to stay inside the lines, but if we disobey at the same time..."

Revolting Children - Matilda The Musical

Jenny knows that the only reason she survived to adulthood was by escaping notice. She had mastered the art of being meek, compliant, unobtrusive, of picking her battles. Matilda believes in direct action, guerrilla warfare, a noble and unending struggle against the forces of injustice. Eventually they reach an unspoken decision to stop arguing with each other about politics.

They watch the reports from Newbury on the television together in silence for two weeks before Matilda tells Jenny in a deliberately casual way that she is going camping with friends. She comes home three weeks later, tearful and covered in mud. Jenny, who has woken every night with the sound of chainsaws ringing in her ears can't find it in her to be anything but relieved.


"This child, this miracle child..."

Open The Door Jenny - Matilda The Musical

In 2003 Matilda and Jenny drive into Reading at night and stand in a line of people outside Waterstones waiting to buy Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on the stroke of midnight. Even after the space of seventeen years, Matilda can close her eyes and visualise exactly the look on her father's face as he ripped up her library book. To stand like this in a crowd of people brought together by an unashamed love of books is a magic better than anything Hogwarts can offer. She slips her hand into Jenny's as they wait for the shop to open and they stand beneath the streetlamps together, saying nothing and understanding one another perfectly.