Matilda Act 1

ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST – Act 1
[Note: Especially among the ensemble, the person speaking each line (e.g., BIG KIDS) may change from show to show.]

MATILDA
Sophia Gennusa, Oona Laurence, Bailey Ryon, Milly Shapiro
MISS TRUNCHBULL
Bertie Carvel

MISS HONEY
Lauren Ward
MR WORMWOOD
Gabriel Ebert
MRS WORMWOOD
Lesli Margherita

MRS PHELPS
Karen Aldridge
MICHAEL
Taylor Trensch
RUDOLPHO
Phillip Spaeth

ESCAPOLOGIST
Ben Thompson
ACROBAT
Samantha Sturm
DOCTOR
John Arthur Greene

PARTY ENTERTAINER
John Sanders
NURSE
Tamika Sonja Lawrence
ACROBAT'S SISTER
Bertie Carvel

BRUCE
Jack Broderick
LAVENDER
Frenie Acoba
AMANDA
Beatrice Tulchin
NIGEL
Jared Parker

ERIC
Ted Wilson
ALICE
Ava DeMary
HORTENSIA
Emma Howard
TOMMY
Judah Bellamy

CHILDREN SWINGS
Erica Simone Barnett, Madilyn Jaz Morrow,
Luke Kolbe Mannikus, Sawyer Nunes
ADULT ENSEMBLE and SWINGS
Ryan Steele, Thayne Jasperson, Tamika Sonja Lawrence, Nadine Isengger, John Arthur Greene,
Colin Israel, Clay Thomson, Celia Mei Rubin,
Betsy Struxness, Heather Tepe, Yurel Echezarreta, Samantha Sturm, Ben Thompson

BIG KID [BEN]
Ben Thompson [variable]
BIG KID [RYAN]
Ryan Steele [variable]

BIG KID [TAMIKA]
Tamika Sonja Lawrence [variable]
BIG KID [TAYLOR]
Taylor Trensch [variable]

______________________________________________________________________________________

MATILDA THE MUSICAL
ACT 1

A bell rings. Lights up. A long table with the word "Birthday" emblazoned on it moves forward, with little hands creeping along the bottom. The table stops and the hands hit the ground.

The children begin to pop up from behind the table and speak. They are all dressed in costume: Eric as Batman, Tommy as the Incredible Hulk, Lavender as a Princess, Nigel as Spiderman, Bruce in army gear, Amanda as Superwoman, Alice as Wonder Woman, Hortensia as a queen.

ERIC
My mummy says I'm a miracle!

TOMMY
My daddy says I'm his special little guy!
Ow!

AMANDA
I am a princess!

BRUCE
And I am a prince.

ALL GIRLS
Mum says I'm an angel sent down from the sky!

ERIC, TOMMY, and BRUCE
My daddy says I'm his special little soldier.
No one is as handsome, strong as me.

BRUCE
It's true he indulges my tendency to bulge.

ERIC, TOMMY, and BRUCE
But I'm his little soldier. 
Hup, two, four, free.

ALICE and HORTENSIA
My mummy says I'm a miracle,
One look at my face and it's plain to see.
Ever since the day doc chopped the umbilical cord,
It's been clear there's no peer for a miracle like me.

Ow!

NIGEL, TOMMY
My daddy says I'm his special little soldier.
No one is as bold or tough as me.
Has my daddy told ya
One day when I'm older,
I can be a soldier

NIGEL
And shoot you in the face!

A party entertainer enters with balloons.

PARTY ENTERTAINER
One can hardly move for beauty and brilliance these days.
It seems that there are millions of these "one in a millions" these days.
Specialness is de rigueur.
Above average is average. Go fig-ueur!
Is it some modern miracle of calculus
That such frequent miracles don't render each one un-miraculous?

CHILDREN
My mummy says I'm a miracle.
One look at my face and it's plain to see.
Ever since the day doc chopped the umbilical cord,
It's been clear there's no peer for a miracle like me.

LAVENDER
My mummy says I'm a precious barrelina.
She has never seen – a!
Prettier barrelin–a!
She says if I'm keen, I have to cut down on the cream,
But I'm a barrelina –

So give me more cake!

Four COUPLES, crouched down behind the table, begin to stand and speak.

COUPLE 1
MAN: Take another picture of our angel from this angle over here.
WOMAN: She is clearly more emotionally developed than her peers. 
BOTH: What a dear!

COUPLE 2
WOMAN: That's right, honey. Look at mummy.
MAN: Don't put honey on your brother.
WOMAN: Smile for mummy! Smile for mother!
MAN: I think he blinked.
WOMAN: Well, take another!

COUPLE 3
MAN: Have you seen his school report? He got a C on his report!
ALL COUPLES: What?
MAN: We'll have to change his school. The teacher's clearly falling short.

COUPLE 4
WOMAN: She's just delightful.
MAN: So hilarious.
WOMAN: And insightful.

COUPLES
Might she be a little brighter than her class?
Oh, yes, she's definitely advanced!

The couples and the children overlap the next two verses, as children split themselves among five couples and execute rote choreography.

[COUPLES
Take another picture of our angel from this angle over here.
She is clearly more emotionally developed than her peers. 
What a dear!
That's right, honey, look at mummy.
Don't put honey on your brother.
Smile for mummy, smile for mother.
I think he blinked.
Well, take another!

CHILDREN
My mummy says I'm a miracle.
One look at my face and it's plain to see.
Ever since the day doc chopped the umbilical cord,
It's been clear there's no peer for a miracle like me.
]

CHILDREN
My mummy says I'm a –

CHILDREN and COUPLES
Miracle!

CHILDREN
That I'm as tiny and as shiny as a –

CHILDREN and COUPLES
Mirror ball!

CHILDREN
You can be all cynical,
But it's a truth empirical.
There's never been a miracle, a miracle, a miracle
As me.

A curtain is wheeled in with the words "5 YEARS AGO" painted on it. It is flanked by AMANDA and ERIC in lab coats over their costumes. MRS WORMWOOD is behind the curtain. A DOCTOR enters.

MRS WORMWOOD
Look, is this gonna take much longer, doctor? I've got a plane to catch at three. I'm competing in the Bi-Annual International Amateur Salsa and Ballroom Dancing Championships in Paris.

DOCTOR
You're getting on a plane, Mrs Wormwood?

MRS WORMWOOD
Of course I am. I always compete, doctor. But this time, I've got a secret weapon. Rudolpho! He's part Italian, you know. Very supple. Has incredible upper-body strength.

DOCTOR
I think we should have a talk.

MRS WORMWOOD walks out from behind the curtain, heavily pregnant.

MRS WORMWOOD
So, what is it? What's wrong with me?

DOCTOR
Mrs Wormwood, do you really have no idea?

MRS WORMWOOD
Gas?

DOCTOR
Mrs Wormwood, I want you to think very carefully. What do you think might be the cause of – this?

MRS WORMWOOD gasps.

MRS WORMWOOD
Am I . . . Am I . . . Look, am I fat?

DOCTOR
You're pregnant!

MRS WORMWOOD
What?!

DOCTOR
You're going to have a baby.

MRS WORMWOOD
But I've got a baby! I don't want another one. Isn't there something you can do?

DOCTOR
You're nine months pregnant!

MRS WORMWOOD
Antibiotics, or . . . Oh, my good Lord! What about the Bi-Annual International Amateur Salsa and Ballroom Dancing Championships?

DOCTOR
A baby, Mrs Wormwood. A child. The most precious gift the natural world can bestow upon us has been handed to you. A brand new human being! A life. A person. A wonderful new person is about to come into your life to bring love, and magic, and happiness, and wonder!

MRS WORMWOOD
Oh, bloody hell!

MRS WORMWOOD walks back behind the curtain.

DOCTOR
Every life I bring into this world
Restores my faith in human kind.

NURSE
Push, Mrs Wormwood, push!

MRS WORMWOOD
I'll push you in a minute!

DOCTOR
Each newborn life a canvas yet unpainted,
This still, unbroken skin,
This uncorrupted mind.

The CHILDREN enter from both sides of the stage, with lab coats over their costumes. The DOCTOR and the CHILDREN sing into their stethoscopes.

DOCTOR and CHILDREN
Ev-er-y life is unbelievably unlikely.
The chances of existence almost infinitely small.

DOCTOR
The most common thing in life is life . . .

The curtain is wheeled away to reveal MRS WORMWOOD. A NURSE is holding a baby, which cries.

DOCTOR
And yet every single life,
Every new life
Is a miracle!
Miracle!

MR WORMWOOD enters, puffing on a cigarette.

MR WORMWOOD
Where is he? Where's my son?

DOCTOR
Mr Wormwood! Are you smoking a cigarette?

MR WORMWOOD
What? Oh, of course. [He throws the cigarette into the audience.] I'm sorry, doctor. What am I thinking? This calls for a proper smoke. [He takes out a cigar and takes hold of the baby.] Oh, my word, he's an ugly little thing.

DOCTOR
This is one of the most beautiful children I've ever seen.

MR WORMWOOD unwraps the blanket that the baby is swathed in.

MR WORMWOOD
Oh, my good Lord. Where's his fingie?

DOCTOR
His what?

MR WORMWOOD
His fingie. His whatchamacallit. His do-dah. What've you done with his fingie?

DOCTOR
This child doesn't have a "thingie" –

MR WORMWOOD
What? A boy with no fingie? Look what you've done, you stupid woman. This boy's got no fingie.

DOCTOR
Mr Wormwood! This child is a girl. A beautiful, beautiful little girl.

MRS WORMWOOD
Is there still time for the Bi-Annual Inter-Championship Amateur Sausage –

MR WORMWOOD
Dance competition's over. You missed it. [He brings out a load of cash and starts leafing through it.] Look, I don't suppose we could exchange it for a boy, could we?

The DOCTOR exits and MR WORMWOOD hurries after him.

MRS WORMWOOD
This is the worst day of my life!

Oh, my undercarriage doesn't feel quite normal.
My skin looks just revolting in this foul, fluorescent light.
And this gown is nothing like the semi-formal,
Semi-Spanish gown
I should be wearing in the semi-finals tonight!

RUDOLPHO enters from behind a gap in the curtain behind her. He dances with the hospital bed that MRS WORMWOOD is lying on.

MRS WORMWOOD
I should be dancing the Tarentella
Qui mon fella Italiano.

RUDOLPHO exits the same way he came.

MRS WORMWOOD
Not dressed in hospital cotton,
With an owchie . . . front bottom.
And this –

The DOCTOR, MR WORMWOOD, and a male nurse enter.

DOCTOR
Miracle!

MRS WORMWOOD
Horrible –

DOCTOR
Miracle!

MRS WORMWOOD
Smelly little –

DOCTOR
The most beautiful miracle I have ever seen!

MR WORMWOOD
I can't find his frank 'n' beans!

Parents wheeling strollers enter alongside their CHILDREN.

DOCTOR
Ev-er-y life is unbelievably unlikely.

CHILDREN
My mummy says I'm a miracle.

DOCTOR
The chances of existence almost infinitely small.

CHILDREN
My daddy says I'm his special little guy.

DOCTOR
The most common thing in life is life –

CHILDREN
Hup, two, four, free!

The Birthday table is wheeled back in by other children. CHILDREN and COUPLES arrange themselves behind it.

DOCTOR
And yet, every single life,
Every new life
Is a miracle!
Miracle!
Miracle!

The DOCTOR runs behind the table with the others. The group sets off party poppers down the line.

COUPLES, CHILDREN, and DOCTOR
My mummy says I'm a miracle,
One look at my face and it's plain to see.
Ever since the day doc chopped the umbilical cord,
It's been clear there's no peer for a miracle like me.
My mummy says I'm a miracle.
That I'm as tiny and as shiny as a mirror ball.
You can be all cynical,
But it's a truth empirical
There's never been a miracle, a miracle, a miracle as . . .

The woman from COUPLE 1 blows on a birthday cake as the table splits in two and MATILDA stands from behind it, holding a collection of books from one hand.

MATILDA
My mummy says I'm a lousy little worm.
My daddy says I'm a bore.
My mummy says I'm a jumped-up little germ,
That kids like me should be against the law.
My daddy says I should learn to shut my pie-hole.
No one like a smart-mouthed girl like me.
Mum says I'm a good case for population control.
Dad says I should watch more TV.

MR WORMWOOD kicks her out of the way, talking on the telephone. The scene switches to the Wormwood's living room. MATILDA's brother, MICHAEL, lies lazily on a recliner. MATILDA sits to the side, reading a book.

MR WORMWOOD
Get out of it! Yes, sir. That's right, sir. One hundred and fifty-five brand new luxury cars, sir. Are they good runners? Oh, let's put it this way. You wouldn't beat them in a race! [He laughs then peters out.] No, sir. Yes, sir. They are good runners, sir. Yes, sir. Indeed, sir. So, erm . . . How much, exactly are we talking about?

MRS WORMWOOD enters and screams.

MRS WORMWOOD
Harry!

MR WORMWOOD
[to the phone] Hang on.

MRS WORMWOOD
Look at this. She's reading a book. That's not normal for a five-year-old. I think she might be an idiot.

MATILDA
Listen to this: "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom . . . "

MRS WORMWOOD screams again.

MR WORMWOOD
Stop scaring your mother with that book, boy.

MATILDA
I'm a girl!

MRS WORMWOOD
And she keeps trying to tell me stories, Harry. Stories. Who wants stories? I mean, it's just not normal for a girl to be all . . . "thinking".

MR WORMWOOD
[to the phone] I'm gonna call you straight back. [to MRS WORMWOOD] Would you please shut up? I am trying to pull off the biggest business deal of my life and I have to listen to this. It's your fault. You spend us into trouble and you expect me to get us out. What am I? A flaming escapologist?

MRS WORMWOOD
"Escapologist", he says! What about me, then? I've got a whole house to look after! Dinners don't microwave themselves, you know! If you're an escapologist, I must be an acrobat to balance that lot. The world's greatest acrobat! I am off to bleach my roots . . . and I shan't be talking to you for the rest of the evening, you horrid little man!

MR WORMWOOD
But I'm gonna make us rich!

MRS WORMWOOD
Rich? How rich?

MR WORMWOOD
Oh, very rich. Russian businessmen: very, very stupid! Your genius husband is going to sell them one hundred and fifty five knackered old bangers as brand-new luxury cars.

MATILDA
But that's not fair! The cars will break down. What about the Russians?

MR WORMWOOD
"Fair." Listen to the boy.

MATILDA
I'm a girl!

MR WORMWOOD
"Fair" does not get you anywhere, you thickheaded twit-brain! All I can say is, thank heavens Michael has inherited his old man's brains, eh, son?

MICHAEL
[dully] Michael.

MRS WORMWOOD
Hmm. Well, I shall take your money when you earn it, and I shall spend it. But I shan't enjoy it, because of the despicable way in which you have spoken to me tonight.

MRS WORMWOOD exits.

MR WORMWOOD
[to MATILDA] This is your fault. With your stupid books and your stupid reading.

MATILDA
What? But I didn't do anything. That's not right.

MR WORMWOOD
"Right"? [He laughs.] "Right"? I'll tell you something. You're off to school in a few days' time. And you won't be getting "right" there, oh no. See, I know your headmistress. Agatha Trunchbull.

Behind MR WORMWOOD and MATILDA, the scene changes from a living room to MATILDA's bedroom.

MR WORMWOOD
And I've told her all about you and your smarty-pants ideas. Great, big, strong, scary woman she is. Used to compete in the Olympics, throwing the hammer! Imagine what she is going to do to a horrible, squeaky little goblin like you, boy.

MATILDA
I'm a girl! 

 MR WORMWOOD
Now, get off to bed, you little bookworm.

MR WORMWOOD exits while MATILDA runs into her bedroom, flings the door open, and climbs onto her bookshelf. She opens a book.

MATILDA
Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water.
So they say.
The subsequent fall was inevitable.
They never stood a chance.
They were written that way:
Innocent victims of their story.

Like Romeo and Juliet,
'Twas written in the stars before they even met.
That love and fate and a touch of stupidity
Would rob them of their hope of living happily.
The endings are often a little bit gory!
I wonder why they didn't just change their story.
We're told we have to do what we're told, but surely,
Sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty!

Just because you find that life's not fair, it
Doesn't mean that you just have to grin and bear it.
If you always take it on the chin and wear it,
Nothing will change.
Even if you're little, you can do a lot. You
Mustn't let a little thing like "little" stop you.
If you sit around and let them get on top, you
Might as well be saying you think that it's okay,
And that's not right.

[She flicks on the light of the vanity in her parent's bathroom, which has risen from the stage. It is delineated into "His" and "Hers" sides.]
And if it's not right,
You have to put it right.

MATILDA picks up various bottles from the vanity and reads from their labels.

Platinum blonde hair dye. Extra strong. Keep out of reach of children. Hmm.
Oil of Violets hair tonic. For men. Yep!

MATILDA starts pouring the hair dye into the Oil of Violets bottle.

MATILDA
In the slip of a bolt, there's a tiny revolt.
The seed of a war in the creak of a floorboard.
A storm can begin with the flap of a wing.
The tiniest mite packs the mightiest sting.
Every day starts with the tick of a clock.
All escapes start with the click of a lock.
If you're stuck in your story and want to get out,
You don't have to cry, you don't have to shout –

'Cause if you're little, you can do a lot. You
Mustn't let a little thing like "little" stop you.
If you sit around and let them get on top, you
Won't change a thing.
Just because you find that life's not fair, it
Doesn't mean that you just have to grin and bear it.
If you always take it on the chin and wear it,
You might as well be saying you think that it's okay,
And that's not right.
And if it's not right,
You have to put it right . . .

[She re-enters her bedroom and jumps onto the bed.]
But nobody else is gonna put it right for me.
Nobody but me is gonna change my story.
Sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty!

Matilda lies down and flicks off the light. The vanity rises again, signifying morning. MR WORMWOOD, towel wrapped about his shoulder, enters the bathroom with MICHAEL.

MR WORMWOOD
In business, son, a man's hair is his greatest asset. Good hair means a good brain. Now, the secret to my success in business is –

MICHAEL
Secrets. 

MR WORMWOOD
Yes. Yes. Secrets. The secret to my success is this. Oil of Violets hair tonic for men. Stand back, son! Your old man is going to work. [He pulls the towel over his head and starts massaging vigorously]. Oh, yeah. Oh, that's where it's at! Oh, right. That's the bananas right there. [He rips the towel off to reveal that his hair is green.] Let me tell you something, son. A man in business simply cannot fail to get noticed when he looks like this.

MICHAEL
Secrets!

MRS WORMWOOD enters and screams.

MRS WORMWOOD
Your hair! It's . . . green!

MR WORMWOOD
Good Lord, woman, have you started already? It's not even eight thirty!

MATILDA enters from her bedroom. MR WORMWOOD takes a mirror that MRS WORMWOOD brandishes.

MR WORMWOOD
Oh! My hair is green!

MRS WORMWOOD
What on earth did you do that for? Why would you want green hair?

MR WORMWOOD
I don't want green hair. I didn't do anything!

MATILDA
Maybe you used some of mummy's peroxide by mistake.

MRS WORMWOOD
That's exactly what you've done. Oh, you stupid man.

MR WORMWOOD
Oh, my hair! Oh, my lovely hair! Oh, my good Lord. I've got my deal today with the Russians. What am I gonna do?

MATILDA
I know. I know what you can do.

MR WORMWOOD
What? What is it? What can I do?

MATILDA
You can pretend you're an elf!

MR WORMWOOD
Yes! That's it! I can pretend I'm an . . . What are you talking about? You fool! The boy's a looney.

MR WORMWOOD and MICHAEL exit. MRS WORMWOOD brushes past MATILDA with a sound of utter disgust.

MATILDA
Mum, would you like to hear a story?

MRS WORMWOOD
Don't be disgusting! Go on. Creep on back to that library of yours or something. The sooner you're locked up in that school, the better.

MRS WORMWOOD exits. MATILDA collects her books. The scene changes to the library. MISS HONEY is browsing the stacks. MRS PHELPS enters.

MRS PHELPS
Matilda! What a pleasure to see you. Here in the library again, are we?

MATILDA
Yes. I mean, my mum wanted me to stay at home with her. She hates it when I go out. She misses me so much. Dad too. He loves having me around. But I think it's good for grown-ups to have their own space.

MRS PHELPS
Your parents must be so proud to have a girl as clever as you. And do you tell them lots of stories like you do with me? I love your stories, Matilda! And that's not a hint, by the way. But if you did happen to have a story you wanted to tell –

MISS HONEY
Good-bye, Mrs Phelps. See you next week.

MRS PHELPS
Good-bye, Miss Honey. And good luck with the Tolstoy.

MISS HONEY laughs and exits down the stairs at the front of the stage.

MRS PHELPS
As I was saying, Matilda. I'm not hinting, but if you did happen to have a story you wanted –

MATILDA
Who was that?

MRS PHELPS
That lady? That was Miss Honey. She's going to be your teacher.

MATILDA
That lady? That lady is my –

MRS PHELPS
Yes, your teacher. Now, look. Are you going to tell me a story or not?

MATILDA
Once upon a time –

MRS PHELPS screams and exits. She re-enters carrying two square blocks, one larger than the other. She puts down the large block and MATILDA stands on it. MRS PHELPS retreats to the smaller block and sits down.

MATILDA
Once upon a time, the two greatest circus performers in the world – an escapologist who could escape from any lock that was ever invented, and an acrobat who was so skilled it seemed as if she could actually fly – fell in love, and got married. They performed some of the most incredible feats together anyone has ever seen. And people would come from miles around: kings! queens! celebrities! and astronauts! But not just to see their skill, but also to see their love for each other, which was so deep that it was said that cats would purr as they passed them, and dogs would weep with joy. 

A model of a grand old house rolls in from the back of the stage.

MATILDA
The moved into a beautiful old house at the edge of town, and in the evenings, they would walk and take the air. And each night, the children of the town would wait in anticipation, hoping for a glimpse of the shiny white scarf that the acrobat always wore, for then they knew that they had only to cry, "Tricks! Tricks!" and the great performers would instantly oblige with the most spectacular show, just for them.

But although they loved each other, although they were famous and everyone loved them, they were sad.

MATILDA collects two dolls from the house. She uses them to carry on a conversation.

ACROBAT [off-stage]
We have everything . . .

MATILDA
"We have everything that the world has to offer," said the wife.

ESCAPOLOGIST [off-stage]
We have everything . . .

MATILDA
"But we do not have the one thing in the world we want most."

ACROBAT and ESCAPOLOGIST [off-stage]
But the one thing . . .

MATILDA
"We do not have a child."

ESCAPOLOGIST [off-stage]
Patience, my love.

MATILDA
"Patience, my love," the husband replied. "Time is on our side. Even time loves us."

MRS PHELPS
Oh, Matilda!

MATILDA
But time is the one thing no one is master of. And as time passed, they grew quite old, and still they had no child. At night, they listened to the silence of their big, empty house, and they would imagine how beautiful it would be if it was filled with the sound of a child playing.

MRS PHELPS
Oh, Matilda, this is very sad!

MATILDA
Do you want me to stop?

MRS PHELPS
Don't you dare!

MATILDA
Their sadness overwhelmed them, and drew them into ever more dangerous feats, as their work became the only place they could escape the inescapable tragedy of their lives! And so it was, they decided to perform the most dangerous feat ever known to man! "It is called," said the husband, announcing the event to the world's press, who had gathered to listen with bated breath – [The voice of the ESCAPOLOGIST echoes her words.] – "'The Burning Woman, Hurling Through the Air, with Dynamite in Her Hair, over Sharks and Spiky Objects, Caught By the Man Locked in a Cage', and it is the most dangerous feat ever known to man!

A crowd cheers.

MATILDA and ACROBAT [off stage]
"It is our destiny – "

MATILDA 
– said the wife, smiling sadly and slipping her hand into his. 

MATILDA and ACROBAT [off stage]
"It is where the loneliness of life has led us."

MATILDA pauses for several moments, holding the dolls in front of her contemplatively.

MRS PHELPS
Well, what happens?!

MATILDA
I . . . I don't know. Not yet, anyway.

MRS PHELPS
What? But I . . . Isn't there some more? I mean . . . Well, I suppose your mother will be waiting for you. Is she here? I'd love to meet her, actually –

MATILDA grabs her books and runs off the front of the stage.

MATILDA
Bye, Mrs Phelps! See you tomorrow!

MRS PHELPS
After your first day of school!

MRS PHELPS exits as a siren wails and the scene changes to Crunchem Hall Academy. A large iron gate made of square holes of various sizes rolls in from both sides of the stage. MATILDA's classmates enter hesitantly from the front of the stage.

NIGEL
My mummy says I'm a miracle . . .

TOMMY
My daddy says I'm his special little . . . guy . . .

LAVENDER
I am a princess . . .

ERIC
And I am a prince . . .

BIG KIDS enter menacingly behind the gate.

ALICE
Mum says I'm an angel . . .

AMANDA
Mum says I'm an angel . . .

NIGEL
Mum says I'm an angel . . .

BIG KIDS approach and start climbing onto the gate and grabbing the CHILDREN from behind it.

BIG KIDS
And so you think you're able
To survive this mess by being a prince or a princess.
You will soon see there's no escaping tragedy.
And even if you put in heaps of effort,
You're just wasting energy,
'Cause your life as you know it is ancient history.
I have suffered in this jail.
Have been trapped inside this cage for ages,
This living 'ell.
But if I try I can remember,
Back before my life had ended,
Before my happy days were over,
Before I first heard the pealing of the bell.
Like you, I was curious,
So innocent I asked a thousand questions.
But unless you want to suffer, listen up
And I will teach you a thing or two.
You listen here, my dear,
You'll be punished so severely if you step out of line.
And if you cry it will be double.
You should stay out of trouble
And remember to be extremely careful.

NIGEL
Why?

BIG KIDS
Why?

BIG KID [BEN]
Why? Did you hear what he said?

BIG KIDS
Just you wait for phys-ed!

CHILDREN
What's phys-ed?

BIG KIDS
Physical education!

BIG KID [BEN]
It's the Trunchbull's speciality.

The CHILDREN reach out from behind the gate as the BIG KIDS carry them away.

ALICE
My mummy says I'm a miracle.
Ahh!

BRUCE
My daddy says I would be the teacher's pet!
Ahh!

LAVENDER
School is really fun, according to my mum.
Ahh!

AMANDA and ERIC
Dad said I'd learn the alphabet!

BIG KID [BEN]
The alphabet? You've gotta learn to listen up, kid.

Two BIG KIDS start climbing on the gate, flanking alphabet blocks as they are are pushed through the gate when they are mentioned in the song.

OLDER KIDS
And so you think you're A-ble
To survive this mess by Being a prince or a princess.
You will soon (C) see there's no escaping trageDy.
And Even if you put in heaps of eFfort,
You're just wasting enerGy,
'Cause your life as you know it is "aitcH"-ent history.
I have suffered in this Jail,
I've been trapped inside this (K) cage for ages,
This living 'eLl.
But if I try I can remeMber,
Back before my life had eNded,
Before my happy days were Over,
Before I first heard the Pealing of the bell.
Like you, I was (Q) curious,
So innocent I (R) asked a thousand questions,
But unleSs you want to suffer, listen up
And I will Teach you a thing or two.
YoU listen here, my dear,
You'll be punished so seVerely if you step out of line.
And if you cry it will be (W) double.
You should stay out of trouble,
And remember to be eXtremely careful.

ERIC
WhY?

BIG KIDS
Why?

BIG KID [BEN]
Why? Why? Did you hear what we said?

The gate rolls away. Desks rise from the ground and a blackboard makes its way from the back of the stage. Upon the blackboard is written the alphabet.

BIG KIDS
Just you wait for phys-ed! Just you wait for phys-ed.

BIG KIDS and CHILDREN
A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X.

CHILDREN
Why, why, why, why, why, why, why?

A spotlight makes its way across the letters on the board, finally settling at the end on the letter Z.

BIG KIDS
Just you wait for phy-Zed!

The BIG KIDS exit and MISS HONEY enters.

MISS HONEY
Good morning, children! My name is Miss Honey. And today is a very special day: your first day of school! Now, do any of you know any of your two times tables?

MATILDA raises her hand.

MISS HONEY
Wonderful. Matilda, isn't it? Please, stand, and do as much as you can.

MATILDA
One times two is two. Two times two is four. Three times two is six. Four times two is eight. Five times two is ten. Six times two is twelve. Seven times two is fourteen. Eight times two is sixteen. Nine times two is eighteen. Ten times two is twenty. Eleven times two is twenty-two. Twelve times two is twenty-four.

MISS HONEY
Well, my word . . .

MATILDA
Thirteen times two is twenty-six. Fourteen times two is twenty-eight. Fifteen times two is thirty. Sixteen times two is thirty-two.

MISS HONEY
Stop. Stop! Good heavens. How far can you go?

MATILDA
I don't know. Quite a long way, I think.

MISS HONEY
Do you think you could tell me what two times twenty-eight is?

MATILDA
Fifty-six.

MISS HONEY.
Yes. Yes! That is v– . . . How about this. Now, this is much harder, so don't worry if you don't get it. Two times . . . four hundred and eighty-seven. If you took your time –

MATILDA
Nine hundred and seventy-four.

MISS HONEY
Twelve sevens?

MATILDA
Eighty-four.

CHILDREN
No way! [They start chattering.]

MISS HONEY
Let's leave maths for the time being . . . and look at reading. Now, can anyone read this? [She underlines the sentence on the board.]

MATILDA, LAVENDER, and NIGEL raise their hands.

NIGEL
Ooh, me, me, me, miss! I can! Me, me, me, me.

MISS HONEY
Very well. Nigel.

NIGEL leans forward in concentration and groans in agony several times. He screams and turns around, hitting ERIC's cap against ERIC's desk. He bites the cap, screaming through his teeth. MISS HONEY hurries to pull the cap from NIGEL's mouth.

MISS HONEY
Okay. Yes, yes. I think we'd better leave it there, Nigel. We don't want to burst a blood vessel on your first day. 
Lavender?

LAVENDER
Is the first word . . . "tomato"?

MISS HONEY
No. But the "tomato" is a very good word.

LAVENDER
Yesss!

MISS HONEY
Matilda?

MATILDA
"I can now read words."

MISS HONEY
So, Matilda. You can read words.

MATILDA
Yes. Well, I needed to learn to read words so that I could read sentences. Because basically a sentence is just a big bunch of words. And if you can't read sentences, you've got no chance with books.

MISS HONEY beckons MATILDA to the back of the class.

MISS HONEY
And . . . have you read a whole book? Yourself, Matilda?

MATILDA
Oh, yes. More than one. I love books. Last week, I read quite a few.

MISS HONEY
A few! In . . . in . . . in a week. My, my, that is good. Er, what books did you read?

MATILDA
Nicholas Nickleby . . . Oliver Twist . . . Jane Eyre . . . Tess of the D'urbervilles . . . The Lord of the Rings . . . Kim . . . The Invisible Man . . . The Secret Garden . . . Crime and Punishment . . . and . . . Cat in the Hat!

The school bell rings and all the children march out. The desks descend into the ground. MISS TRUNCHBULL's office, complete with her in a high-backed chair (facing the back of the stage) is wheeled in. MISS HONEY faces the audience and raises her fist.

MISS HONEY
Knock on the door, Jenny. Just knock on the door.
Don't be pathetic!
Knock on the door, Jenny. There's nothing to fear.
You're being pathetic!
It's just a door. You've seen one before.
Just knock on the door.

Look at you trying to hide, silly.
Standing outside the principal's office like a little girl.
It's just pathetic!
Oh! Right.
Look at you hesitating. Hand's shaking.
You should be embarrassed. You're not a little girl.
It's just pathetic.

Knock on the door, Jenny. What are you waiting for?
Just knock on the door . . .

Perhaps I'll wait. She's probably having a meeting or something and won't want to be interrupted. If anything, caution in these situations is sensible. One should avoid confrontation when possible. I'll come back later, then.

But this little girl . . .
This miracle . . .

Knock on the door, Jenny. Just knock on the door.
Don't be pathetic!

MISS HONEY knocks three times and winces.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Enter!

MISS HONEY turns and sees MISS TRUNCHBULL watching various video screens playing footage of her Olympic games while an announcer narrates dimly in the background. She stands paralyzed in fear.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Don't just stand there like a wet tissue. Get on with it.

MISS HONEY
Yes. Yes. Yes, Miss Trunchbull. There's, erm . . . In . . . In . . . In my class, that is, er, there is a little girl called Matilda Wormwood. And –

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Daughter of Mr Harry Wormwood who owns Wormwood Moturs. Excellent man. Told me to watch out for the brat, though; says she's a real wart.

MISS HONEY
Oh no, Headmistress. I don't believe Matilda's that kind of child at all.

MISS TRUNCHBULL turns off the screens with a remote and wheels around, holding a magnifying glass.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
What is the school motto, Miss Honey?

MISS HONEY
"Bambinatum est magitum."

MISS TRUNCHBULL
"Bambinatum est magitum." Children are maggots! In fact, it must have been her who put that stink bomb under my desk this morning. I'll have her for that. Thank you for suggesting it. [She turns the screens back on.]

MISS HONEY
But I didn't . . . ? Miss Trunchbull, Matilda Wormwood is a genius!

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Nonsense. Haven't I just told you that she is a gangster?

MISS HONEY
She knows her times tables.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
So she's learned a few tricks.

MISS HONEY
Oh, but she can read!

MISS TRUNCHBULL
So can I!

MISS HONEY
I have to tell you, Headmistress, that in . . . in . . . in my opinion, this little girl should be placed in the top form with the eleven-year-olds!

MISS TRUNCHBULL
What? [She flicks the screens off again.] But she is a squib. A shrimp. An unhatched tadpole. We cannot simply place her in the top form with the eleven-year-olds. What kind of society would that be? What about rules, Honey? Rules?

MISS HONEY
I believe that . . . Matilda Wormwood is an exception . . . to the rules.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
An exception. To the rules. In my school?

Look at these trophies.
See how my trophies gleam in the sunlight?
See how they shine?
What do you think it took to become English Hammer Throwing Champion 1969?

[She stands and approaches MISS HONEY menacingly, towering over her.]
Do you think in that moment, when my big moment came,
That I treated the rules with casual disdain?
Well? Like hell!

As I stepped up to the circle, did I change my plan?
Hm? What?
As a chalked up my palms, did I wave my hands?
I did not!
As I started my spin, did I look at the view?
Did I drift off and dream for a minute or two?
Do you think I faltered or amended my rotation?
Do you think I altered my intended elevation?
As the hammer took off, did I change my grunt
From the grunt I had practiced for many a month?
Not a jot!
Not a dot did I stray from the plot.
Not a detail of my throw was adjusted or forgotten.
Not even when the hammer left my hands
And sailed high up, up above the stands
Did I let myself go.
No, no, no, no [ad lib.]

[She turns and walks back to her desk. She daintily reaches up and captures a figurine of a woman throwing the hammer.

If you want to throw the hammer for your country,
You have to stay inside the circle all the time.

[She murmurs along to the music.]
And if you want to make the team,
You don't need happiness or self-esteem.
You just need to keep your feet inside the line.

[She presses an intercom on her desk.]
Sing, children. Two, three, four.

CHILDREN and BIG KIDS appear in the boxes to the upper left and upper right of the stage and sing.

MISS TRUNCHBULL and CHILDREN
If you want to throw the hammer for your country.

BIG KIDS
Bambinatum est magitum.

MISS TRUNCHBULL and CHILDREN
You have to stay inside the circle –

MISS TRUNCHBULL
– all the time.

BIG KIDS
Circulum, maggitum, maggitum.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
And if you want to teach success,
You don't use sympathy or tenderness.

CHILDREN and BIG KIDS
Tenderness.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
You have to force the little squits to toe the line!
[She grabs a baton with a yellow ribbon attached to it and starts twirling to the music.]
Sing, Jenny! Two, three, four!

MISS HONEY, BIG KIDS, and CHILDREN
If you want to throw the hammer for your country,

BIG KIDS
Bambinatum! Bambinatum! Gloria Magitum!

MISS HONEY, BIG KIDS, and CHILDREN
You have to stay inside the circle all the time.

BIG KIDS
Circulum est Deus! Deus!

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Apply just one simple rule
To hammer throwing, life, and school –
Life's a ball, so learn to throw it,
Find the bally line and toe it,
And always keep your feet inside the line!

[She throws the baton across the stage, does a jeté to catch it, and points her finger at MISS HONEY.]
Now get out.

MISS TRUNCHBULL carries the ribbon back to her desk and sits down. She starts the video screens playing again.

MISS HONEY
I have to tell you, Headmistress, that it is my intention to help this little girl. Whether you like it or not.

MISS HONEY exits off the front of the stage. The scene changes to the Wormwood's living room. MRS WORMWOOD and MICHAEL down sit in armchairs. MATILDA sits down reading a book. MR WORMWOOD paces the stage.

MR WORMWOOD
Stupid, nasty, stinking, slimy . . . Great, big, question-asking . . . How dare they speak to me like that! Who the hell do they think they are? Flipping, filthy, nasty, stupid Russians!

MRS WORMWOOD
Don't tell me. We're not rich.

MR WORMWOOD
It's the mileage. They took one look at the mileage on the first car and they said that these cars were all knackered. I told them, I said, "Hey. The reason the mileage is so high is a manufacturing mistake."

MATILDA
Is that true?

MR WORMWOOD
Of course it's not true.

MATILDA
So you lied?

MR WORMWOOD
Of course I lied!

MATILDA
And they didn't believe you?

MR WORMWOOD
Of course they didn't believe me: I've got – green – hair!

MICHAEL
I've got hair.

MR WORMWOOD runs over and grabs MATILDA's book.

MR WORMWOOD
What's this? Another flaming book? What's wrong with the telly?

MRS WORMWOOD
She's got no respect, that one. With her, it's all "books" and "stories".

MATILDA
Oh, no, it's a lovely book. Honest. You should read it. I'm sure you'd –

MR WORMWOOD
"Lovely"? Here's what I think of your lovely – [He starts pulling at the book as though to tear it apart.]

MATILDA
No, it's a library book! It's from the library!

MRS WORMWOOD
You show the little brat! Go on, then!

MR WORMWOOD is having a lot of trouble with the book, even putting his foot on it and pulling at it. 

MR WORMWOOD
Oh, this is thick! How do you do this? Come on!

Finally, he grabs an individual page in glee.

MR WORMWOOD
Look what I've just found! Look at that! They're individual!

He rips out several pages and throws them dramatically on the ground.

MR WORMWOOD
Now, get out of here, you little stink worm! [to MICHAEL] Get up, boy.

MICHAEL gets up and MR WORMWOOD sits down on his recliner. MICHAEL sits on his lap. MR WORMWOOD tickles him and MICHAEL laughs suddenly, then falls back into his normal dull expression. MATILDA collects the remains of her book.

MATILDA
Do we have any super glue?

MR WORMWOOD
In the cupboard. And, while you're at it, why don't you stick your stupid book to your stupid head?

The Wormwoods laugh. Their furniture is wheeled off the stage and a hat rack with MR WORMWOOD's hat and an umbrella is brought center stage. MATILDA opens a cupboard at the front of the stage.

MATILDA
Just because you find that life's not fair, it
Doesn't mean that you just have to grin and bear it.
If you always take it on the chin and wear it,
Nothing will change.

[She puts the book in the cupboard and hurries to the hat rack with a bottle reading "sooper gloo". She uses the umbrella to bring down the hat and starts lining it with glue.]

Even if you're little, you can do a lot. You
Mustn't let a little thing like "little" stop you.
If you sit around and let them get on top, you
Might as well be saying you think that it's okay,
And that's not right!

MATILDA hides the glue behind her back as MR WORMWOOD enters. She holds the hat out to him. He takes it and squashes it firmly down onto his head.

MR WORMWOOD
I've got my eye on you, boy.

MATILDA
I'm a girl!

MR WORMWOOD exits. The hat rack is taken away. CHILDREN and BIG KIDS run in, creating pandemonium. Eventually, they quieten down, but LAVENDER continues to jump up in down next to MATILDA, who is reading.

LAVENDER
Matilda? Can I ask you a question? Do all those brains in your head give you a headache? I mean, it's got to hurt, all squished in there.

MATILDA
No, it's fine. I think they just – fit.

LAVENDER
Right. Well, I'd better hang around just in case. If they start to squeeeeze out of your ears, you're going to need help. [She holds her hand out to MATILDA, who takes it.] I'm Lavender, and I think it's probably for the best if we're best friends!

NIGEL runs in up the steps stage left, screaming.

NIGEL
Hide me! Someone poured a whole can of syrup onto Trunchbull's chair. She sat down, and when she got up . . . her knickers stayed stuck to the seat! Someone told her I did it, but I never! And now she's after me!

MATILDA
That's not fair! That's not fair at all!

BIG KID
You're done, kid. You're –

BIG KIDS
Finished!

BIG KID [RYAN]
Once Agatha Trunchbull decides you're guilty, you're –

BIG KIDS
Squished!

BIG KID [TAMIKA]
Yesterday, she caught Julius Rottwinkle eating a gobstopper during science. She just picked him up, swung him around, and threw him out the –

BIG KIDS
Window!

MATILDA
Don't listen to them. That didn't happen. They're trying to scare us.

NIGEL
Oh, Matilda! They say she's going to put me in Chokey!

MATILDA
What . . . What's Chokey?

NIGEL
They say it's a cupboard in her office that she throws children into. They say she's lined it with nails, and spikes, and bits of broken glass.

BIG KIDS
There's a place you are sent if you haven't been good,

BIG KID [BEN]
And it's made of spikes and wood.

BIG KIDS
And it isn't wide enough to sit.

BIG KID [TAYLOR]
And even if you could,

BIG KIDS
There are nails on the bottom,

BIG KID [TAYLOR]
So you wish you'd –

BIG KIDS
Stood!
When the hinges creak and the door is closed,
You cannot see squat –

BIG KID [TAMIKA]
Not the end of your nose.

BIG KIDS
And when you scream, you don't know if the sound came out,
Or if the scream in your head even reached your mouth!

Auuurrrgh!

MATILDA gazes at their dramatic display non-chalantly and holds out a palm to them.

MATILDA
All right. [to Nigel] When did this happen?

NIGEL
Twenty minutes ago. But, why?

From offstage, MISS TRUNCHBULL blows on her whistle.

NIGEL
Oh, no, she's coming!

MATILDA
You'd better hide! Quick, jackets!

NIGEL lies down on the ground. The CHILDREN and BIG KIDS take off their blazers and throw them on top of him. They line up at the back of the stage. MISS TRUNCHBULL runs in, blowing on her whistle, and chases ERIC down until he is pulled into formation by two BIG KIDS.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
[to MATILDA] You! Where is the maggot known as Nigel?

MATILDA
He's over there, under those coats.

The CHILDREN and BIG KIDS hang their heads. MISS TRUNCHBULL walks heavily toward the coats.

MATILDA
Where he's been for the last hour, actually.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
What? An hour? 

MATILDA
Oh, yes. You see, unfortunately, Nigel suffers from the rare, but chronic sleep disorder, narcolepsy. The condition is characterised by the sufferer experiencing bouts of chronic fatigue, and falling suddenly asleep, often without knowing, or any warning at all. You see, he fell asleep, and we put him under the coats for safety. Didn't we? Didn't we?!

CHILDREN and BIG KIDS
Yes!

BIG KID [RYAN]
Narcolopsy!

MATILDA
He'll probably think he's in bed when he wakes up.

NIGEL sits up, yawning and stretching.

NIGEL
Is it time for school yet, mum? Hello! What am doing here? Well, this isn't my room at all! Oh, hello, Miss Trunchbull.

Angrily, MISS TRUNCHBULL looks from NIGEL to MATILDA and back.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Amanda Thripp.

The CHILDREN and BIG KIDS step back, leaving AMANDA in a spotlight.

AMANDA
Yes, Miss Trunchbull?

MISS TRUNCHBULL
What have I told you about wearing pigtails? I hate pigtails!

MISS TRUNCHBULL hurries over to AMANDA. The BIG KIDS and CHILDREN scurry away.

AMANDA
But my mummy likes them! She says they make me look pretty!

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Then your mummy is a twit!

MISS TRUNCHBULL grabs AMANDA by the pigtails and swings her around and around. The stage goes black. When lights come up again, AMANDA is gone. The BIG KIDS and CHILDREN take up various positions around the stage and audience, pointing in every which way. The announcer from MISS TRUNCHBULL's videos starts commentating. Flashbulbs go off. A spotlight searches the theater. All the while, AMANDA's screams get louder.

BIG KID
Here she comes!

"AMANDA" drops from the rafters above the audience into a pile of coats underneath her. AMANDA stands up and screams in triumph. MISS TRUNCHBULL flails victoriously, then starts blowing her whistle. The CHILDREN and BIG KIDS line up again.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
[to MATILDA] You! What is your name?

MATILDA
Matilda. Matilda Wormwood.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
So you're Wormwood, are you? I might have known. Well, Matilda Wormwood. You have just made a very big mistake. [Daintily, straightening her collar, MISS TRUNCHBULL exits off the front of the stage.]

LAVENDER
Just so you all know, she's my best friend!

BIG KIDS and CHILDREN
Wow!

BIG KIDS and CHILDREN run off. Spangly ribbons are strung across the stage. MR WORMWOOD enters with a lackey, who sits on a tyre behind him. The lackey is wearing a shirt that reads "Wormwood Moturs".

MR WORMWOOD
Brand new stock, sir! Oh, yes. Completely different cars, sir. Green hair? Yeah, it was, er – [He gestures to the lackey.] – National Green Hair Day! A celebration of all the wonderful green things in the world, like, er, oh, like lettuce, and snot. Tomorrow at one? Absolutely, sir! Yeah. Bye-bye, sir. Dosvedoo-dah. [He throws the phone to the lackey.] Now, that is how you do it! [He tries and fails to pull his hat off, tugging on it several times.] Hat seems to be, er . . . [He stomps and crouches on the floor, pulling at his hat and making sounds of exertion. He flails around the stage.] Oh, my head! [He finally gives up and straightens up casually.] I think I'm gonna keep this on. Looks like rain.

MR WORMWOOD grabs his suitcase and exits along with the lackey. The scene changes to the Wormwood's living room. MRS WORMWOOD has her leg raised up and RUDOLPHO is holding it against his back. MISS HONEY enters and knocks.

MRS WORMWOOD
Who is it?

MISS HONEY
Oh, er, hello. It's Miss Honey. Matilda's teacher?

MRS WORMWOOD
Bit busy right now!

MISS HONEY
Oh, it will only take a moment.

MRS WORMWOOD
Oh, come in if you must.

MISS HONEY enters and turns away in shock.

MRS WORMWOOD
This is Rudolpho! Oh, it's nothing like that. He's my dance partner. We're rehearsing.

RUDOLPHO saunters over and holds his arm out to MISS HONEY.

RUDOLPHO
Ciao.

MISS HONEY
Oh, parle Italiano? Ciao, Rudolpho. Piacelli. Come stai?

RUDOLPHO
Wot? Who is this, babe? You know what interruptions do to my energy flow. [He sits down in a zen position.]

MRS WORMWOOD
What do you want, Miss Chutney?

MISS HONEY
Oh, it's Miss Honey. Erm, well, as you know, Matilda is in the bottom class. And . . . And children in the bottom class aren't really expected to read.

MRS WORMWOOD
Well, then stop her reading! Lord knows we've tried.

RUDOLPHO dances across the back of the stage.

RUDOLPHO
I'm in the zone, doll! I can feel it in my hips. Don't waste this. [He slides down on his thighs stage left.]

MRS WORMWOOD
Look. I'm not in favor of girls getting all clever-pants, Miss Hussy. A girl should think about make-up and hair dye. Looks are more important than books. Now, look at you, and look at me. You chose books. I chose looks!

RUDOLPHO
Babes, I'm on fire, here! Please! [He dances backwards and MRS WORMWOOD follows along.]

MISS HONEY
But Matilda can calculate complicated figures in her head in an instant!

RUDOLPHO
Calculate this! [He does a split in front of MISS HONEY.]

MRS WORMWOOD
Fantastico!

MISS HONEY
Her mind is incredible. With a little help from us, she could go to university before she –

MRS WORMWOOD
Mind? Her mind? You really don't know anything, do you?

Somewhere along the way, my dear,
You've made an awful error.
You oughtn't blame yourself now, come along.
You seem to think that people like people what are clever.
It's very quaint, it's very sweet,
But wrong.
People don't like smarty-pants what go 'round
Claiming that they know stuff we don't know.

Now, here's a tip:
What you know matters less
Than the volume with which what you don't know's expressed.
Content has never been less important, so
You have got to be
LOUD!

Girl, you've gotta learn to stand up and stick out from the
Crowd!
A little less flat, a lot more heel.
A little less fact, a lot more feel.
A little less brains, a lot more hair.
A little less head, a lot more derriere.

[She gets on all fours as RUDOLPHO rides her like a horse.]
Whoa! Neigh!

RUDOLPHO starts dancing with and carrying around MISS HONEY, which he continues to do throughout the song. MISS HONEY, dazed, follows the dance as best she can.

MRS WORMWOOD
No one's gonna tell you when to shake your tush.
Well, you got a light. Don't hide it under a bushel.
No one's going to look if you don't stand out.
No one's going to listen if you don't shout.
No one's gonna care if you don't care,
So go and put some highlights in your hair.
'Cause you've gotta highlight what you got.
Even if what you got is not a lot.
You gotta be loud!

You gotta give yourself permission to shine.
To stand up and be proud!

Whee!
A little less zzz, a lot more zing.
A little less shh, a lot more schwing.
A little less dressing like your mum.
A little more bah-da, ba ba ba-da bom!

[She takes a mirror from the armchair.]
Oh, I look nice. [to MISS HONEY] You don't!

No one's gonna tell you when to wiggle your bumba. 

RUDOLPHO
No one's gonna love you if you don't know the rumba.

MRS WORMWOOD
Everybody loves a little something exotic.

RUDOLPHO
But learning a language is over the top –

MRS WORMWOOD
It doesn't really matter if you don't know much!

RUDOLPHO
As long as you don’t know it with the volume up.

MRS WORMWOOD puts a number on RUDOLPHO's back as though they are competing in a dancing competition.

MRS WORMWOOD and RUDOLPHO
The less you have to sell, the harder you sell it.
The less you have to say, the louder you yell it.
The dumber the act, the bigger the confession.
The less you have to show, the louder you dress it.

RUDOLPHO whips off MRS WORMWOOD's skirt to reveal a shorter skirt made of tassels beneath it.

MRS WORMWOOD and RUDOLPHO
You gotta get up!
You gotta get up and be loud!

A table with the word "Contest" emblazoned on the side is wheeled in. Four judges in outrageous costumes sit behind it.

JUDGE
Your judges!

Two other dancing teams come in and join MRS WORMWOOD and RUDOLPHO in the competition. They dance to the same routine until MRS WORMWOOD and RUDOLPHO overtake them with more complicated choreography.

MRS WORMWOOD
I'm the best! I'm the best! I'm the best!

Three judges hold up signs reading "10" as MRS WORMWOOD sits on the table. She holds up the final "10".

MRS WORMWOOD
Ten! Of course! I mean, what else?

You gotta be loud!
Stand out from the crowd!
Are you listening?
You gotta be loud!
Stand up and be proud!

BACKGROUND SINGERS
Loud, loud, loud, loud!
Loud, loud, loud, loud!
Loud, loud, loud, loud!

MRS WORMWOOD
You gotta be loud!

The other dancers and judges exit, leaving MRS WORMWOOD and RUDOLPHO in a dramatic position. They then saunter off. MISS HONEY is left in a pile stage right.

MISS HONEY
Stop being pathetic, Jenny. Just get on your feet, Jenny.
You are going to march in there and give them a piece of your mind.
Leave it alone, Jenny. The more that you try,
The more you'll just look like a fool.
This it not your problem. You've not got the spine.
You are a teacher. Just go back to school!

But this little girl . . . This miracle . . .
She seems not to know that she's special at all.
And what sort of teacher would I be
If I let this little girl fall? I can see
This little girl needs somebody strong to fight by her side.
Instead, she's found me. Pathetic, little me.
And another door closes. And Jenny's outside.

MISS HONEY exits behind the stacks as the library scene rolls in. MRS PHELPS is sitting on a block and MATILDA is standing on one, holding the two dolls.

MATILDA
And so, the great day arrived! It was like the entire world had gathered to see The Burning Woman, Hurling Through the Air, with Dynamite in Her Hair, Over Sharks and Spiky Objects, Caught By the Man Locked in a Cage. Everything was arranged by – [She pulls her coat over her head to simulate a hunchback, and grabs a large book.] – the Acrobat's sister, a frightening woman who used to be an Olympic-class hammer-thrower, who loved nothing better than to scare the children of the town. People whispered that in her dark and brooding heart, she resented the sister, both her success and her love.

The ESCAPOLOGIST starts to walk in from the back of the stage. He stands up on a block.

MATILDA
Suddenly, out came the Escapologist, dressed as usual in his tights and spangly costume. But there was no sign of the Acrobat, and no glimpse at all of her shiny white scarf. And instead of a musical fanfare, there was silence, as he solemnly strode into the room.

MATILDA and ESCAPOLOGIST
Ladies and gentlemen! Boys and girls! The Burning Woman, Hurling Through the Air, with Dynamite in Her Hair, Over Sharks and Spiky Objects, Caught By the Man Locked in a Cage has been . . . cancelled!

MRS PHELPS
No!

MATILDA
Yes! The audience gasped so loud that a passing aeroplane caught it on its instrumentation and recorded it as an atmospheric phenomenon.

MATILDA and ESCAPOLOGIST
Cancelled, because my wife is . . . pregnant!

MRS PHELPS
Oh, Matilda!

MATILDA
Absolute silence. You could have heard a fly burp. Then suddenly, the audience jumped to its feet and roared in appreciation!

An audience cheers. The ACROBAT enters from the back of the stage, and the ESCAPOLOGIST takes her by the hand. They embrace and exit out the back of the stage.

MATILDA
The great feat was instantly forgotten, and the applause went on for nearly an hour.

MRS PHELPS
So it has a happy ending!

MATILDA
Forgotten, by everyone except, that is – [She pulls her coat over her head.] – the Acrobat's sister. When all had quietened down, she stepped forward and produced . . . a contract.

MRS PHELPS
A . . . A contract?

MATILDA and the ACROBAT'S SISTER [off-stage]
"A contract was signed to perform this feat, and perform this feat you shall!"

MRS PHELPS
No!

MATILDA and the ACROBAT'S SISTER [off-stage]
"I have paid for the posters, publicity, the catering, the toilet facilities. If I give the crowd their money back, where is my profit?! A contract is a contract is a contract! My hands are tied. The Burning Woman, Hurling Through the Air, with Dynamite in Her Hair, Over Sharks and Spiky Objects, Caught by the Man Locked in a Cage will be performed, and performed this day, or . . . off to prison you both shall go!"

MRS PHELPS
No! No!

MATILDA holds her a dramatic pose, holding the large book above her head.

MRS PHELPS
Well, what happened next?

MATILDA
I don't know. I'll tell you tomorrow.

MRS PHELPS
What?! I don't know if my nerves will make it until tomorrow.

MATILDA
Mrs Phelps? Are you crying? Maybe I shouldn't tell you any more.

MRS PHELPS
Oh, no, Matilda. We must find out how it ends. And . . . I'm not crying because it's sad. It's just that they want that child so very much. It must be wonderful for a child to be so wanted.

MATILDA
Yes, wonderful. Good-bye, Mrs Phelps.

MRS PHELPS exits with the blocks. MATILDA stands at the front of the stage as her classmates walk in and the desks rise from the ground. They sits and unpack their bags. MISS HONEY enters and erases the board.

MISS HONEY
Matilda? Could I speak to you for a moment, please? I'm afraid I've not been too successful in getting others to recognize your . . . abilities. So, starting tomorrow, I shall bring a selection of very clever books that I think will challenge your mind. And you may sit and read while I teach the others, and, well, if you have any questions, I shall do my best to answer them. How does that sound?

MATILDA stares up at her for several long seconds. She then steps forward and hugs MISS HONEY tightly.

MISS HONEY
Matilda, that . . . That is the biggest hug in the world. [She wraps her hands around MATILDA.] You're going to hug all the air out of me.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Matilda Wormwood! Matilda Wormwood!

MISS HONEY steps away from MATILDA as MISS TRUNCHBULL enters by the blackboard.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Where is Ma–

MATILDA holds up her hand.

MATILDA
Yes, Miss Trunchbull.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
So you admit it, do you?

MATILDA
Admit what, Miss Trunchbull?

MISS TRUNCHBULL
This clot, this foul carbuncle is none other than a disgusting criminal! [She takes MATILDA by the wrist and leads her to ERIC's desk.] A denizen of the underworld! A member of the mafia! [She shoves ERIC out of his seat so MATILDA can stand on his desk.]

ERIC
Ah!

MISS TRUNCHBULL
This morning, you sneaked like a serpent into the kitchen and stole a slice of my private chocolate cake from my tea tray.

MATILDA
No, I did not!

MISS HONEY
[placatingly] Miss Trunchbull. Matilda's been here all morning.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Standing up for the little spit-ball, are you? Well, this crime took place before school started. And therefore, she is guilty!

The room freezes as MISS TRUNCHBULL starts to write the word "GUILTY" on the board. There is a spotlight on BRUCE as he begins to talk.

BRUCE
Okay! Look! All right! I stole the cake. And honestly, I was really, definitely, sort of, almost thinking about owning up. Maybe. But the thing was, I was having a lot of trouble with my belly. You see, the Trunchbull's cake was so good that I'd scoffed it down too quick, and now it was beginning to fight back. [His stomach growls.] Oops! See!

BRUCE turns back around and the scene unfreezes. MISS TRUNCHBULL finishes writing the word "GUILTY" on the board.

MATILDA
I'm not guilty! I didn't do anything!

MISS TRUNCHBULL
You are guilty, because you are a fiend. You are a crook. You are a thief! And I shall crush you. I shall pound you. I shall consign you to the seventh circle of hell, child. You shall be . . . You shall be destroyed.

BRUCE turns around and burps for a full ten seconds. The CHILDREN thrash in their seats. The scene freezes again for BRUCE to talk.

BRUCE
It was the biggest burp I had ever done. It was the biggest burp I had ever heard. The biggest burp I had ever heard about! It was like the entire world went silent for that burp to exist.

A purple spotlight starts to make its way from Bruce across the classroom.

BRUCE
As a huge cloud of chocolate-y gas wafted from my mouth and drifted across the class. Past Lavender. Past Alice. Past Matilda. And then, my great, big, beautiful chocolate-y burp, which now seemed to have a mind of its own, wafted full into the face of the Trunchbull!

The scene unfreezes. MISS TRUNCHBULL grimaces as the purple spotlight leaves her. The CHILDREN, save BRUCE, but including MISS HONEY, hide under the desks. MISS TRUNCHBULL sniffs and licks the air. She then sniffs her way across the room, following the former path of the spotlight. She stops in triumph.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Bruce Bogtrotter.

BRUCE
Yes, miss?

MISS TRUNCHBULL
You liked my cake, didn't you, Bruce?

BRUCE
Yes, Miss Trunchbull! And I'm very sorry –

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Oh, no, no, no, no, no. As long as you enjoyed the cake. That's the main thing.

BRUCE
Is it?

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Yes! Bogtrotter, it is.

BRUCE
Well, I did. Thank you.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Wonderful. Marvellous. That makes me so happy. It gives me a warm glow in my lower intestine. Oh, cook . . .

The cook enters, holding an enormous chocolate cake on a tray, along with a wooden spoon. She puts it down on the desk behind BRUCE. She exits, not before scratching her behind and wiping her nose.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
What's the matter, Bogtrotter? Lost your appetite?

BRUCE
Well, yes. I'm full.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Oh, no, you are not "full". I'll tell you when you are full. And I say that criminals like you are not full until you have eaten the entire cake.

BRUCE
But –

MISS TRUNCHBULL
No "buts". You haven't got time for "but". Eat.

BRUCE
But I can't eat it all!

MISS HONEY
Headmistress, he'll be sick!

MISS TRUNCHBULL
He should have thought of that before he made a pact with Satan and decided to steal my cake!
[sometimes, to be in time with the music: Well? Come on!]
Eat!

CHILDREN
He can't!

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Eat!

CHILDREN
He surely can't!

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Eat!

CHILDREN
He might explode!

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Eat!! 

MISS TRUNCHBULL strides to the board. Over the course of the song, she writes on the board: "Copy one million times by tomorrow. I am FULL when and only when the Headmistress says I am FULL. I am GUILTY when the Headmistress says I am GUILTY."

CHILDREN
A single slice,
Or even two, Bruce,
Might have been nice,
But even you, Bruce,
Have to admit
Between you and it,
There's not a lot of difference in size.

CHILDREN 1
He can't!

CHILDREN 2
He can!
Bruce!

CHILDREN 1
He surely can't!
He surely can't!

CHILDREN 2
You are the man,
Bruce!

CHILDREN 1
He might explode!

CHILDREN 2
He's quite elastic . . .

CHILDREN 1
He's going to blow. Make him stop!

CHILDREN 2
He's fantastic! Look at him go!

CHILDREN 1
I can't watch!

CHILDREN
I think in effect,
This must confirm, Bruce,
What we all suspected.
You have a worm,
Bruce!
Or maybe your largeness
Is like the TARDIS:
Considerably roomier inside.

CHILDREN 1
He can't!

CHILDREN 2
He can!

CHILDREN 1
He surely can't!
He surely can't!

CHILDREN 2
You are the man,
Bruce!

CHILDREN
B-R-O-O-C-E! 
Bruce!
You'll never again be subject to abuse for your immense caboose.
She'll call a truce, Bruce.
With every swallow, you are tightening the noose.
We never thought it was possible,
But here it is, coming true:
We can have our cake and it it too!

The time has come to put that tumbly-tum to use.
No excuse, Bruce.
Let out your belt. I think you'll want your trousers loose.

Oh –
Stuff it in. (Bruce!) You're almost finished. (Bruce!)
You'll fit it in.
Whatever you do, just don't give in.
Don't let her win.
Come on, Bruce, be our hero.
Cover yourself in chocolate glory!

BRUCE
It's too much! It's just too much!

MATILDA
Go on, Bruce. Do it.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Silence!

BRUCE wilts by the desk. LAVENDER puts the wooden spoon back in his hand. He drops it again. Then after several seconds, he picks it up and returns to the cake with renewed vigour.

CHILDREN
Oh –
Bruce!
You'll never again be subject to abuse for your immense caboose.
She'll call a truce, Bruce.
Just one more bite and you'll've completely cooked her goose.
We never thought it was possible,
But here it is, coming true:
We can have our cake and eat it –

Ah-ah-aah-ah
Ah-ah-aah-ah
Ah-ah-aah-ah
Ah-ah-aah-ah

CHILDREN and MISS HONEY
Ah!

MISS HONEY jumps up and down with joy.

MISS HONEY
Go on, Brucey! Yeah! Yes! [She pauses and realizes what she has done, and slowly lowers her hands.] Sorry, Miss Trunchbull. I got carried away.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
That's all right, Jenny. We all get carried away sometimes. Even me. [Looking irritated, she makes her way to BRUCE's side.] Well done, Bogtrotter. Good show. [She exits down the steps and stops behind the first portion of the audience.] Well? Come along, Bogtrotter.

BRUCE
What? Where?

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Oh, did I not mention? That was only the first part of your punishment. There's more – the second part. And the second part is Chokey!

BRUCE
What?!

MISS HONEY
No. No, Miss Trunchbull. Please. You can't.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Yes, Miss Trunchbull, please, you can! Do you think I would allow myself to be defeated by these maggots, do you? Who do you think I am, Miss Honey? A weakling? An idiot? A fool? You?

MISS HONEY
He's eaten it all. He did what you asked.

MISS TRUNCHBULL takes BRUCE by the wrist and leads him off the front of the stage.

BRUCE
I did! I ate the lot! Please! No! No, not there! Don't take me to Chokey! Please! No! No!

MATILDA
That's not right!

Lights down.