Matilda Act 2

MATILDA THE MUSICAL
ACT 2

About 5 minutes before the end of intermission, the curtain rises to reveal a microphone in the middle of the stage. MR WORMWOOD walks over to it. He taps it and it screeches. 

 MR WORMWOOD
Ladies and gentlemen! Hey. Before we, er, continue with proceedings, I would like to offer an apology for some of the things that have been going on here tonight. They are not nice things, and they are not right things. And I would like to state, guarantorically, that we would not like any children who might be here tonight watching this to go home and try these things out for themselves.

I am, of course, talking about reading books. Now, it is not normal for kids to behave in this fashion. It stunts the brain, it wears out the eyes; it makes kids ugly, stinky, fatty, sweaty Betty, boring, gaseous . . . and crucially, it gives them head lice of the soul. Under no circumstances do we condone such activities, and we do so utterly without reservoirs.

Now, can I just ask, by a way of a show of hands, how many grown-up people here has actually ever read a book? Come on, put em up.

MR WORMWOOD elicits the name of someone from the audience. 

 MR WORMWOOD
Don't take this the wrong way, but . . . Bookworm! Bookworm! Reading all the books like a stinky little worm. You read books, like a worm. Worms read books. You read books. Worms are stupid. You're a s–wurm.

There, now [audience member's name] will learn from that. It won't stop [him/her] reading, but . . . [he'll/she'll] never put [his/her] hand up in a theatre again!

Ladies and gentlemen! May I present to you today the pinnacle of our achievements as a species. The very reason that we bothered evolving out of unicorns in the first place.

A television is brought out by MICHAEL, who has a ukulele strung around his back.

MR WORMWOOD
Somewhere, on a show, I heard
That a picture tells a thousand words.
So, telly, if you bothered to take a look,
Is the equivalent of, like . . . lots of books!

Every time the word "telly" is mentioned in the following verses, MICHAEL yells the word along with his father.

MR WORMWOOD
  All I know, I learnt from telly.
This big beautiful box of facts.
If you know a thing already,
Baby, you can switch the channel over just like that.

Endless joy and endless laughter.
Folks living happily ever after.
All you need to make you wise

Is twenty-three minutes plus advertisements.

Why would we waste our energy
Turning the pages, one, two, three?
When we can sit comfortably,
On our lovely bumferlies,

Watching people singing, and talking, and doing stuff?

All I know, I learnt from telly.
The bigger the telly, the smarter the man.
You can tell from my big telly
Just how clever of a fellow I am!

Take it away, son.

MICHAEL steps forward, and after some consideration, plucks a note on his ukulele. After a pause, he looks down and plucks another doleful note.

MR WORMWOOD
You can't learn that from a stupid book, [audience member's name]!

All I know, I learnt from telly.
What to think and what to buy.
I was pretty smart already,

But now I'm really, really smart, very very smart.

Endless content, endless channels,
Endless chat on endless panels.
All you need to fill your muffin,
Without having to really fink or nuffin.

Why would we waste our energy
Trying to work out "ooh"-lysses?
When we can sit happily on our lovely bapperlies

Watching slightly famous people talking to really famous people?

All I know I learnt from telly.
The bigger the telly, the smarter the man.
You can tell from my big telly
Just how clever of a fellow I am.

MICHAEL runs out and grabs a giant trash can. MR WORMWOOD walks over to a small book cart and starts throwing books over his shoulder, and MICHAEL catches them in the trash can.

 MR WORMWOOD
Who the Dickens is Charles Dickens? Mary Shelley? Cor, she sounds smelly. Charlotte Bronte? Do not want-y! Jane Austin? In the compostin'. James Joyce? He doesn't sound noice. Ewen McEwan? Ugh, I feel like spewin'. William Shakespeare? Schwilliam Schmakespeare. Moby Dick? [He titters.] Easy, grandma!

All together, now!
All I know, I learnt from telly!
The bigger the telly, the smarter the man.
You can tell from my big telly
What a very clever fellow I am.

Thank you very much.

Some of the CHILDREN come on stage to take away the props. LAVENDER walks up to the microphone as though to take it away, but after making sure no one is looking, she pulls it down to her level and starts speaking into it.

LAVENDER
Hello. I'm Lavender, by the way. Matilda's best friend! There's a bit coming up that's all about – me! Well, not exactly about me. But I play a big part in it. But I'm not going to say what happens, because I don't want to spoil it for you.
[She starts walking off the stage with the microphone, then stops.]
All right. Look. What I do is I volunteer to give the Trunchbull a jug of water. And on the way back . . . No! I don't want to tell you anymore because I don't want to ruin it!
[She walks off stage. After a moment, she runs back on.]
Well . . . On the way back, I find a newt. A newt is like a really ugly lizard that lives in water. And so I pick it up and . . . No! I'm not saying any more!
[She raises her fists and growls, then huffs off. Before she can make it off stage, she turns around.]
I'm going to put the newt in the Trunchbull's jug! It's going to be brilliant!

LAVENDER runs out and the stage darkens as the Entr'acte plays. When lights go up again, there are four swings hanging from the rafters. BRUCE and TOMMY sit on two of them. BRUCE is wearin a sign that says "I have been to CHOKEY." As the following song progresses, various CHILDREN and then BIG KIDS come down a slide at the back of the stage and take turns on the swings. 

BRUCE
When I grow up,
I will be tall enough to reach the branches
That I need to reach to climb
The trees you get to climb
When you're grown up.

BRUCE and TOMMY
And when I grow up,
I will be smart enough to answer all
The questions that you need to know
The answers to
Before you're grown up.

AMANDA and ERIC
And when I grow up,
I will eat sweets every day,
On the way to work,
And I will go to bed late every night.

And I will wake up
When the sun comes up,
And I will watch cartoons until my eyes go square –

CHILDREN
– And I won't care
'Cause I'll be all grown up.
When I grow up . . .

When I grow up,
(When I grow up, when I grow up)
I will be strong enough to carry all
The heavy things you have to haul
Around with you
When you're a grown up

And when I grow up,
(When I grow up, 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.

BIG KIDS
And when I grow up,
I will have treats every day,
And I'll play with things that mum pretends
That mums don't think are fun.

And I will wake up
When the sun comes up,
And I will spend all day just lying in the sun,
And I won't burn
'Cause I'll be all grown up . . .
When I grow up . . .

The CHILDREN and BIG KIDS recline in various parts of the stage. MISS HONEY comes up the stairs by the side of the stage and sits down on a swing. MATILDA enters shortly after from the other side of the stage.

MISS HONEY
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 . . .

The CHILDREN and BIG KIDS start to dissipate.

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.

The swings rise into the air and the scene behind them slowly changes to the library.

MISS HONEY
When I grow up . . .
[She starts walking off stage.

MATILDA
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,
I might as well be saying
I think that it's okay,
And that's not right!

MRS PHELPS
Matilda, how lovely to see you. Are you enjoying school?

MATILDA
Oh, yes. Bits of it, anyway. . . . Mrs Phelps! Where's the REVENGE section?

MRS PHELPS
What?! Well, we don't have a "revenge" section. Why? Is there a child at school who is behaving like a bully?

MATILDA
Oh, no. Not a child, exactly.

MRS PHELPS
Matilda, are you sure something –

MATILDA
You want to hear the next part of my story?

MRS PHELPS
Story? Did you say "story"? Did you say . . . Matilda! What are we waiting for?

Behind MATILDA and MRS PHELPS, the library stacks split apart. TOMMY and HORTENSIA lead the ACROBAT and ESCAPOLOGIST onto the stage, carrying flames. The ACROBAT's hair has dynamite in it. As MATILDA narrates, the ESCAPOLOGIST and ACROBAT act out the scene.

MATILDA
Slowly, very slowly, the Acrobat wrapped her shiny white scarf around her husband's neck.

MATILDA AND ACROBAT
"For luck, my love – "

MATILDA
– she said, kissing him with the gentlest of kisses.

MATILDA and ACROBAT
"Smile. We have done this a thousand times."

MATILDA
But suddenly, she hugged him with the biggest hug in the world, so hard that he thought she would hug all the air out of him. And so, they prepared themselves for the most dangerous feat that had ever been performed.

The ESCAPOLOGIST and the ACROBAT take each others hands and walk back out of the stage.

MATILDA
The great escapologist had to escape from the cage, lean out, catch his wife with one hand, grab a fire extinguisher with the other, and put out the flames on her specially-designed dress within twelve seconds before they reached the dynamite and blew his wife's head off!

MRS PHELPS screams in terror. MATILDA stares at her questioningly.

MRS PHELPS
Sorry, go on.

MATILDA beckons MRS PHELPS to sit on the floor with her. A white sheet covers the back of the stage and silhouettes act out MATILDA's story upon it.

MATILDA
The trick started well. The moment the specially-designed dress was set alight, the acrobat swung into the air. The crowd held their breath as she hurled over the sharks and spiky objects. One second. Two seconds. They watched as the flames crept up the dress. Three seconds. Four seconds. She began to reach out her arms towards the cage. Five seconds. Six seconds! Suddenly, the padlocks pinged open, and the huge chains fell away. Seven seconds. Eight seconds. The door flung open, and the escapologist reached out one huge, muscled arm to catch his wife and their child. Nine seconds! Ten seconds!

MRS PHELPS
Oh, I can't look!

MATILDA
Eleven seconds! And he grabs her hand, and . . . and . . . and suddenly, the flames are covered in foam before they can both be blown to pieces.

MRS PHELPS
Hooray! So the story does have a happy ending after all.

MATILDA
No.

MRS PHELPS
No?

MATILDA
No. Maybe it was the thought of the child. Maybe it was nerves. But the escapologist used just a touch too much foam. And suddenly, their hands became slippy, and she fell.

MRS PHELPS
No. Was . . . Was she okay? Did . . . Did she survive?

The sheet parts and the ESCAPOLOGIST walks slowly forward, carrying the ACROBAT in his arms.

MATILDA
She broke every bone in her body. Except for the ones at the ends of her little fingers. She did manage to live long enough to have their child, but the effort was too great. "Love our little girl," she said. "Love our daughter with all your heart. She was all we ever wanted."

The ESCAPOLOGIST carries the ACROBAT off the front of the stage.

ACROBAT'S VOICE
Love our girl with everything. She is everything.

MATILDA
And then, she died.

MRS PHELPS walks over to a cart of books, blowing her nose into a handkerchief.

MATILDA
And then, things got worse.

MRS PHELPS collapses against the cart.

MRS PHELPS
What? "Worse"? Oh, no, Matilda. Not worse. They can't get worse.

MATILDA
I'm afraid they did. Because the escapologist was so kind that he never for one second blamed the evil sister for what happened. In fact, he asked her to move in and help look after his daughter. She was nothing but rude to the little girl, making her wash, iron, cook, and clean, and beating her if she did a thing wrong. But always in secret, so that the escapologist never suspected a thing. And so the poor little girl grew up with the meanest, cruelest, horrible-est aunt you can possible imagine!

MRS PHELPS
Let's call the police!!

MATILDA
Mrs Phelps! It's . . . It's just a story.

MRS PHELPS
What? Oh. Oh, yes. Of course. Matilda, you are so smart. Your parents must think they have won the lottery having a child like you.

MATILDA
Oh, yeah. Yeah, they do. They're always saying that, in fact. They say, "Matilda, we're so proud of you. You're like winning the lottery." . . . Yeah, I'd better go.

MRS PHELPS exits and the book shelves part. The scene changes to the Wormwood's living room. MR WORMWOOD enters, dancing.

MR WORMWOOD
[to the tune of "Telly"] I'm so clever, I'm so clever. I'm so very, very, very, very clever. I'm so very, flaming clever. What a very clever fellow I am! [to MRS WORMWOOD] Come, here you! [He dances with her, twirling her around.]

MRS WORMWOOD
No, stop, stop. There's only one man I do that with!

MR WORMWOOD
Everyone, gather around. I want my family to share in my triumph. Not you, boy.

MATILDA
I'm a girl!

MR WORMWOOD
One hundred and fifty-five old bangers on my hands. All polished up, but the mileage on the car telling the truth: that each one was knackered. How could I possibly make the mileage go back? I couldn't very well drive each one backwards, could I?

MICHAEL
Backwards.

MR WORMWOOD
When suddenly, I had the most genius idea in the world. I run into the workshop. I grab a drill. And using my incredible mind, I attach the drill to the speedometer of the first car. I turned it on. I whacked it into reverse.

MICHAEL
Backwards!

MR WORMWOOD gives MICHAEL a high five.

MR WORMWOOD
Yes, boy! Backwards! Backwards. Exactly. Now, a drill's motor: It rolls backwards thousands of times a second. And within a few minutes, I had reduced the mileage on that old rust-bucket to practically nothing. I did it to every single car!

MICHAEL
Backwards!

MRS WORMWOOD
Stop talking now, darling. There's a good boy.

MR WORMWOOD
Ten minutes later, the Russians show up. Great, big, nasty-faced apes. Expensive suits, dark glasses; dunno who they thought they were.

MRS WORMWOOD
Oh! Russians are nocturnal. I saw it on a programme last night.

MATILDA
That was badgers. It was a programme about badgers.

MRS WORMWOOD
Same thing! . . . And did it work?

MR WORMWOOD shows her a suitcase full of money. MRS WORMWOOD screams.

MRS WORMWOOD
Fantastico! Now I can afford Rudolpho all day long!

MATILDA
But you cheated them! That's not fair at all. They've trusted you, and you've cheated them.

MRS WORMWOOD
What is the matter with you? What've we done to deserve a child like you?

MR WORMWOOD throws down the suitcase. Behind him, the scene changes to MATILDA's bedroom.

MR WORMWOOD
You know what I'm going to do tomorrow? I'm going to go down to that library and tell that old bag that you're never to be let in again.

MATILDA
What? No! Please don't!

MR WORMWOOD
And if she does, I will have her fired! And you will never read another stinking book as long as you live. I will put an end to your stories, young man. [He drags MATILDA by the wrist and throws her through the door to her room onto her bed.] Now, get in there and stay in there, you nasty little creep!

MR WORMWOOD slams the door and leaves. MATILDA lies face-down on her bed. She brings her fist down three times to great thundering sounds. Slowly, she looks up.

MATILDA
At night, the escapologist's daughter cried herself to sleep, alone in her room. She never said a single word about the evil aunt's bullying, because she didn't want to cause a fuss, and so she suffered in silence. This only encouraged the woman to greater cruelties, until one day, she exploded!

MATILDA and ACROBAT'S SISTER [off stage]
"You are a useless! Filthy! Nasty little creep!"

MATILDA
And she beat her, threw her into a dank, dark, dusty cellar, locked the door, and went out.

MATILDA has thrown herself onto the ground. She holds her head. The sound of a car pulling up to a house is heard.

MATILDA
But that day, the escapologist happened to come home early. And when he heard the sound of his daughter's tears – [She knocks on the door three times.] – he smashed the door open!

The ESCAPOLOGIST, wearing the white scarf, smashes the door open to lightning and thunder, and takes MATILDA into his arms.

ESCAPOLOGIST
Don't cry.
I am here, little girl.
Please don't cry.
Dry your eyes.
Wipe away your tears, little girl.

Forgive me.
I didn't mean to desert you.
Don't cry, little girl.
Nothing can hurt you.
You've nothing to fear.
I'm here.

MATILDA and ESCAPOLOGIST
"Have I been so wrapped up in my grief for my wife that I have forgotten the one thing that matters to us most? I love you so much, my daughter. I shall spend the rest of my life making it up to you."

The ESCAPOLOGIST wraps the scarf around MATILDA's shoulders.

MATILDA and ESCAPOLOGIST
"We shall be together, forever."

MATILDA
Don't cry, daddy.
I'm all right, daddy.
Please don't cry.
Here, let me wipe away your tears.

ESCAPOLOGIST
Forgive me.

MATILDA
Daddy, forgive me.

ESCAPOLOGIST
I didn't mean to desert you.

MATILDA
I didn't want to upset you.
Please, daddy, don't cry.

ESCAPOLOGIST
Don't cry, little girl.

MATILDA
I'll be all right.

ESCAPOLOGIST
Nothing can hurt you.

MATILDA
With you by my side,
I have –

MATILDA and ESCAPOLOGIST
– nothing to fear.
MATILDA [simultaneously]: You're here.
ESCAPOLOGIST [simultaneously]: I'm here.

The ESCAPOLOGIST carries MATILDA to her bed and brings up the sheet. MATILDA rolls out the other side of the bed as the shape of a little girl rises from beneath the covers.

MATILDA
But when the little girl fell asleep, the escapologist's thoughts turned to the acrobat's sister, and an almighty rage grew inside his great heart.

MATILDA and ESCAPOLOGIST
"This demon! This villain! This monster! She has sullied the memory of my wife. She has betrayed the trust of her own sister. She has shown cruelty to the most precious reality of my marriage. Bullying children is her game, is it? Well, let us see what this creature thinks she can do when the wrath of a grown man stands before her!"

To thunder and lightning, the ESCAPOLOGIST runs to the bedroom door, which is retreating into the background.

MATILDA
But that was the last the little girl ever saw of her father. Because he never came home ever again.

MISS HONEY enters holding a stack of books tied together.

MISS HONEY
Matilda? I've got those books we spoke about, so you can just sit and read –

MISS TRUNCHBULL starts blowing her whistle from off stage, then runs toward MISS HONEY and MATILDA. She is wearing a short skirt and a jumper. BRUCE scurries behind her, carrying a chair and wearing his "I have been to CHOKEY" sign. MISS TRUNCHBULL blows the whistle in MISS HONEY's face. 

MISS TRUNCHBULL
What are you doing with those books, woman?

MISS HONEY
[tearfully] They're . . . They're for Matilda!

MISS TRUNCHBULL
No, they are not. [She grabs the books from MISS HONEY's hands.] Not on my watch! [She walks to stage left and shotputs the books into the wings, to the sound of breaking glass.] There is an age for reading and an age for being a filthy little toad! These are toads. Aren't you, Bogtrotter?

BRUCE
Yes, Miss Trunchbull.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Yes, Miss Trunchbull! [She takes the chair from BRUCE and brings it to the front corner of the stage.] Only, Bogtrotter, here, is now a good toad. [She slams the chair down.] Sit!

MISS HONEY sits in the chair. Quietly, MATILDA approaches BRUCE to see if he is all right.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
It has become clear to me, Miss Honey, that you have no idea what you are doing. You believe in kindness, and fluffiness, and books, and stories . . . This is not teaching! To teach the child, you must first break the child. [She blows her whistle and the CHILDREN, in gym uniforms, trot onto the stage and form a line with their hands on their heads.] Quiet, you maggots!

MISS HONEY
No one was speaking, Miss Trunchbull.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Miss Honey, please understand that when I say "Quiet, you maggots," you are entirely included in that statement. Where is my jug of water?

LAVENDER starts jumping up and down.

LAVENDER
Ooh, ooh! Me, me, me, me, me! I'll get it, Miss Trunchbull! [She runs to the front of the stage, gives two thumbs up to the entire theatre, then runs off. MATILDA, in gym uniform, joins the others in line.]

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Stupid girl. And you. [She goes down the line of CHILDREN.] Flabby, disgusting, revolting! Revolting, I say! It's high time you were toughened up with a little . . . phys-ed. [She blows her whistle and the children rush to arrange gym mats on the floor. ERIC has a little trouble pulling his out.]

MISS TRUNCHBULL
This school, of late, has started reeking –

AMANDA
[quietly] Eric . . .

MISS TRUNCHBULL
[to AMANDA] Quiet, maggots, when I'm speaking!

ERIC throws himself flat on his mat.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
– reeking, with a most disturbing scent.
Only the finest nostrils smell it,
But I know it oh-too-well.
It is the odour of rebellion.
It's the bouquet of dissent!

And you may bet your britches this Headmistress
Finds this foul odiferousness
Wholly olfactorally insulting.
And so, to stop this stench's spread,
I find a session of phys-ed
Sorts the merely "rank" from the "revoting".

[She takes off her jumper to reveal a top with the Olympic logo emblazoned on it. She starts exercising and the children follow suit. ]

The smell of rebellion comes out in the sweat,
And phys-ed will get you sweating.
And it won't be long before I smell the pong
Of aiding and abetting.
A bit of phys-ed will tell us
Who has a head full of rebellious thoughts.

[She stands on one leg and the children follow.]
Hold, hold!

Most of the children fall to the ground, but MISS TRUNCHBULL sees that MATILDA is still standing.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Just like a rotten egg floats to the top
Of a bucket of water.

Realising what she has done, MATILDA slowly lowers herself onto her mat.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
The smell of rebellion.
The stench of revolt.

CHILDREN
One, two, three, four.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
The reek of insubordination.

CHILDREN
I can't take it anymore.
One, two, three, four.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
The whiff of resistance.
The pong of dissent.
The funk of mutiny in action.

MATILDA
That's not right.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Before the weed becomes too big and greedy,
You really need to nip it in the bud.

Position two!
[She takes an inhaler from HORTENSIA and throws it into the wings.]
Before the worm starts to turn,
You must scrape off the dirt
And rip it from the mud!

The whiff of insurgence.

CHILDREN
One, two three, four.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
The stench of intent.

CHILDREN
One, two, three, four.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
The reek of pre-pubescent protest.
The pong of defiance.

CHILDREN
One, two, three, four.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
The odour of coup.

CHILDREN
One, two, three, four.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
The waft of anarchy in progress.

ERIC
Please, miss, please!

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Once we've "exercised" these demons,
They shall be too pooped for scheming.

MISS TRUNCHBULL drags off a mat to which ERIC still clings. The OLDER KIDS bring in a tall ladder, a trampoline, a gymnastic platform, and a mattress.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Some double-time discipline
Should stop the rot from setting in!

[She climbs onto the ladder.]
All right, let's step it up. Double time.

As MISS TRUNCHBULL sings, each of the CHILDREN jump onto the trampoline, land on the platform, and fall onto the mattress. Some miss their landing. Some are pushed, sometimes unintentionally, by their classmates.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
One, two, three, four.
Discipline. Discipline.
For children who aren't listening;
For midgets who are fidgeting
Or whispering in history.
Their chattering and chittering,
Their nattering and twittering
Is tempered with a smattering
Of discipline.

We must begin insisting
On rigidity, and discipline,
Persistently resisting
This anarchistic mischieving.
These minutes you are frittering
On pandering and pitying
While little 'uns like this:
They just want discipline.

The simpering and whimpering,
The dribbling and the spittling,
The "miss, I need a tissue" –
It's an issue we can fix.
There is no mystery to mastering
The art of classroom discipline.
It's discipline, discipline –

CHILDREN
Discipline!

MISS TRUNCHBULL
The smell of rebellion,
The stench of revolt,
The reek of pre-pubescent plotting.
The whiff of resistance,
The pong of dissent,
The funk of moral fibre rotting . . .

MISS TRUNCHBULL climbs down the ladder and into the wings with a flourish. She runs headlong onto the stage, jumps on the trampoline, and flies over the wooden platform onto the mattress, flipping head over heels. She then takes up a position sitting on the mattress.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Imagine a world with no children.
Close your eyes and just dream.
Imagine – come on, try it –
The peace and the quiet.
A burbling stream.

[She stands and jumps into a sitting position on the wooden platform.]

Now imagine a woods with a cottage,
And inside that cottage we find
A dwarf called Zeek,
A carnival freak
Who can fold paper hats with his mind.
And he says,
"Don't let them steal your horses.
No!
Don't let them throw them away.
No, no, no!
If you find your way through,
They'll be waiting for you, singing,

"Neigh! Neigh!"
[She whickers like a horse.]

ERIC
She's mad!

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Aha!
And there, just like I said:
The stinking maggot rears his head!
Even the squitiest, pitiest mess
Can harbour seeds of stinkiness.
Have you ever seen anything more repellent?
Have you ever smelled anything worse than
That smell of rebellion?

MISS TRUNCHBULL takes up a lounging position on the wooden platform. It is slowly pulled across the stage as she languorously brings her leg up and down. The CHILDREN stand in front of it and make rowing motions with their arms as it makes its way across the stage. The next two verses overlap.

[MISS TRUNCHBULL
The stench of revolt.
The reek of insubordination.
The whiff of resistance.
The pong of dissent.

CHILDREN*
Discipline. Discipline.
No more whispering.
Children need discipline.
Cut out that whispering.
If you're mischiefing,
She'll sniff you out.
Without a doubt,
She's a snout in a million.
Discipline. Discipline.
No more whispering.
Children need discipline.
Cut out that whispering.
]

MISS TRUNCHBULL
And I will not stop till you are squashed;
Till this rebellion is quashed;
Till glorious, sweaty discipline has washed
This sickening stench – away!

[She grabs the end of a net that is pulled back across the stage with the wooden block as she stands on top of it. Upon the net is the word "DISCIPLINE".]

LAVENDER runs on the stage with a jug of water, a cup, and a wriggling newt.

LAVENDER
Look! The newt! Can you see? It's the newt! I've got the newt! I'm going to –

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Quiet!

LAVENDER drops the newt into the water.

MISS HONEY
I don't think this is "teaching" at all. I think it's just cruelty.

MISS TRUNCHBULL takes the jug and cup from LAVENDER.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
That is because you, Miss Honey, are pathetic. [She takes a drink of water.] You are wet. You are weak. [She takes another drink.] You are, in fact, a snivelling little –

There is the sound of something dropping into her glass.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
– newt. Newt!

MISS TRUNCHBULL puts the cup and jug down on the platform and scurries away from it. The children, except for ERIC, gather around, chatting excitedly. 

 MISS TRUNCHBULL
Newt! There's a newt inside my –

MISS HONEY
Quiet, children, please! Quiet!

MISS TRUNCHBULL
[to ERIC] You!

ERIC
No, not me! What? No! I didn't!

MISS TRUNCHBULL
You did this, you vile, repulsive, malicious little sinner! [She takes ERIC by one ear and drags him to one side.]

ERIC
Stop! Stop!

MISS TRUNCHBULL
"Stop"? "Stop"? We were just getting started!

MISS HONEY
No, Miss Trunchbull, don't, please. You'll pull his ear off!

MISS TRUNCHBULL
I have discovered, Miss Honey, through many years of experimentation, that the ears of small boys do not come off. They stretch. In fact, I think I can feel these ones stretching even now.

MISS TRUNCHBULL grabs both of ERIC's ears and stretch them out several inches to the side.

ERIC
Ow! Ow!

MISS HONEY
No, Miss Trunchbull, no!

MATILDA
Leave him alone! You big, fat, bully!

MISS TRUNCHBULL
How dare you. You are not fit to be at this school. You ought to be in prison! In the deepest, dankest, darkest prison! I shall have you wheeled out, strapped to a trolley with a muzzle over your mouth!

MISS TRUNCHBULL starts to rant and scream at the children, lumbering all over the stage. MATILDA stands near the front of the stage, looking anguished.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
I shall crush you. I shall pound you. I shall dissect you, madam! I shall strap you to a table and perform experiments on you! All of these disgusting little slugs shall suffer the most appalling indignities because of you. Yes, you! I shall feed you to the termites. And then I shall smash the termites into tiny fragments . . .

MISS TRUNCHBULL's words fade into the background, though she continues to rail in silence at the CHILDREN and MISS HONEY, who cower at the back of the stage. MATILDA stands on one block of the stage, which slowly rises.

MATILDA
Have you ever wondered
(well, I have)
About how when I say, say, "red"
(for example)
There's no way of knowing
If red means the same thing in your head
As red means in my head
When someone says "red".

And how, if we are travelling at
Almost the speed of light,
And we're holding a light,
That light would still travel away from us
At the full speed of light.
Which seems right,
In a way,
But I'm trying to say –

I'm not sure,
But I wonder if inside my head,
I'm not just a bit different from
Some of my friends.
These answers that come into my mind, unbidden;
These stories delivered to me fully-written.

And when everyone shouts
(like they seem to like shouting)
The noise in my head is incredibly loud.
And I just wish they'd stop,
My dad and my mum,
And the telly,
And stories would stop for just once.

And I'm sorry,
But I'm not quite explaining it right.
But this noise becomes anger,
And the anger is light.
And this burning inside me would usually fade,
But it isn't today.
And the heat and the shouting –
And my heart is pounding –
And my eyes are burning –
And suddenly, everything, everything is –

Quiet.
Like silence, but not really silent.
Just that still sort of
Quiet.
Like the sound of a page being turned in a book.
Or a pause in a walk in the woods.

Quiet.
Like silence, but not really silent.
Just that nice kind of
Quiet.
Like the sound when you lie upside-down in your bed.
Just the sound of your heart in your head.

And though the people around me –
Their mouths are still moving –
The words they are forming
Cannot reach me anymore.

And it is quiet.
And I am warm.
Like I've sailed –
Into the eye of the storm.

From across the stage, MATILDA focuses her attention on the cup of water that MISS TRUNCHBULL is standing near.

MATILDA
Tip! Go on, tip! Tip over! Tip over!

The cup tips over toward MISS TRUNCHBULL. As she turns around, you can see that there is a newt on the back of her leg.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
– miserable collection of excuses for children, and you, madam, standing there like the squit of squits, are its beating heart! But I am a match for you. And I tell you, there is nothing I shall not do, no length to which I shall not go, no punishment I shall not inflict, no ear I shall not . . . stretch . . . [She trails off.] What is it? What is it? There's something on me. Get it off me! Get it off me! It's heading north! [She pauses in horror.] I've got a newt in my knickers! I've got a newt in my knickers! [She runs off stage.]

There is a pause.

MISS HONEY
Well. That was interesting. I think we all better go home while we still can.

The CHILDREN cheer and run off.

MISS HONEY
Matilda?

MATILDA
Watch.

MISS HONEY
Matilda, I really think it would be wise –

MATILDA
Watch. Please.

MATILDA sets up the cup again and focuses her attention on it. It sways from side to side and then tips over.

MATILDA
I moved it with my eyes. Am I strange?

MISS HONEY
I think . . . I think . . . How do you fancy a nice cup of tea?

MISS HONEY puts MATILDA's school blazer back on her and buttons it. Very slowly, the platform of MISS HONEY's house starts to roll in from the back of the stage.

MATILDA
What do you think it is? This thing with my eyes.

MISS HONEY
Well, I'm not going to pretend I know what it is, Matilda. But I don't believe it's something you should be frightened of. I think it's something to do with that incredible mind of yours.

MATILDA
You mean, there's no room in my head for all of my brains, so they have to squish out through my eyes.

MISS HONEY
Well, not exactly, but, er . . . Something like that. You certainly are a special girl, Matilda. I . . . I met your mother. She's . . . unusual. What about your father? Is he . . . Is he proud to have a daughter as clever as you?

MATILDA
Oh, yeah. He's very proud. He's very, very, very proud. He's always saying, "Matilda, I'm so proud to have a daughter as – " [She pauses and looks at MISS HONEY.] That's not true, Miss Honey. That's not what he says. He's not proud at all. He calls me a liar, and a cheat, and a nasty little creep.

MISS HONEY
I see. [She leads MATILDA up onto the platform of her house.] Here we are. Home sweet home.

MATILDA looks around.

MATILDA
Are you poor?

MISS HONEY
Er, yes. Yes, I am. Very!

MATILDA
Don't they pay teachers very well?

MISS HONEY
No, they don't, actually, but, er, I'm even poorer than most, because of, er, other reasons. You see, I . . . I used to live with my aunt. But one day I was out walking, and I . . . I came across this old shed. I fell completely in love with it. I ran to the farmer and begged him to let me move in. He thought I was mad. But he agreed, and I've lived here ever since.

MATILDA
But Miss Honey, you can't live in a shed!

MISS HONEY
I'm not strong like you, Matilda. You see, my father died when I was young. Magnus was his name. He was very kind. But, er, when he was gone, my aunt became my legal guardian. She was mean and cruel and horrible like you can hardly imagine. And when I got my job as a teacher, she suddenly presented me with a bill for looking after me all those years. She had written everything down: Every tea bag, every electricity bill, every tin of beans. And she made me sign a contract to pay her back every penny. She . . . She even produced a document to say that my father had given her his entire house.

MATILDA
Did he really do that? Magnus. Did he really just give her his house?

MISS HONEY
I don't know. But I find it hard to believe. Just like I cannot believe that he would have . . . that he would have killed himself. Which is what she said happened.

MATILDA gasps.

MATILDA
You think . . . You think she did him in! Don't you, Miss Honey?

MISS HONEY
I cannot say. All I know is that years of being bullied by that woman made me . . . pathetic! I was trapped.

MATILDA
And that's why you live here.

MISS HONEY
This roof keeps me dry when the rain falls.
This door helps to keep the cold at bay.
On this floor I can stand on my own two feet.

On this chair I can write my lessons.
On this pillow I can dream my nights away.
And this table, as you can see,
Well, it's perfect for tea.

It isn't much, but it is enough for me.
It isn't much, but it is enough –

MATILDA
But Miss Honey, she's got your father's house! She's got everything that's yours.
[She moves to sit on the same stool as MISS HONEY.]

MISS HONEY
On these walls, I hang wonderful pictures.
Through this window, I can watch the seasons change.
By this lamp, I can read!
And I . . . I am set free.

For the first time, MATILDA gives a small smile. 

MISS HONEY
And when it's cold outside, I feel no fear.
Even in the winter storms, I am warmed
By a small but stubborn fire.
And there is nowhere I would rather be.

It isn't much, but it is enough for me.

For this is my house.
This is my house.
It isn't much, but it is enough for me.

MISS HONEY opens a drawer and takes out a shiny, white scarf. Slowly, from the back of the stage, the ESCAPOLOGIST walks toward MISS HONEY.

MISS HONEY
This is my house.
This is my house.
It isn't much, but it is enough –

MISS HONEY wraps the scarf around MATILDA's shoulders.

ESCAPOLOGIST
Don't cry –

MISS HONEY
And when it's cold and bleak, I feel no fear.

ESCAPOLOGIST
Please don't cry. I'm here.

MISS HONEY
Even in the fiercest storms, I am warmed –

ESCAPOLOGIST
Please don't cry.

MISS HONEY
By a small but stubborn fire.

ESCAPOLOGIST
Let me wipe away your tears.
Forgive me –

MISS HONEY
Even when outside, it's freezing –

ESCAPOLOGIST
I didn't mean to desert you.

MISS HONEY
I don't pay much heed.

ESCAPOLOGIST
I know that I hurt you.

MISS HONEY
I know that everything I need
Is in here.

The ESCAPOLOGIST approaches MISS HONEY from behind and places a hand on her shoulder.

MISS HONEY
It isn't much, but it is enough for me.
It isn't much, but it is enough for me.


The ESCAPOLOGIST slowly exits the stage. MATILDA looks down at the scarf she is wearing.

MATILDA
Miss Honey, is this your father's scarf?

MISS HONEY
Yes. Yes, it is. My mother gave it to him before she died. You see, she was –

MATILDA
An acrobat.

MISS HONEY
Yes. Yes, she was. And my father was –

MATILDA
An escapologist.

MISS HONEY
Matilda, how did you know that?

MATILDA
So . . . So they were your parents!

MISS HONEY
What? Who?

MATILDA
The people in my story!

MISS HONEY
What story?

MATILDA
A story! I've been telling a story, and I thought I was making it up, but it's real! It's your life! I've seen your life.

MISS HONEY
You've seen my life?

MATILDA
She did him in! Let's go to the police! [She grabs MISS HONEY's hands and tries to drag her away.]

MISS HONEY
No! No, we can't! We've no evidence!

MATILDA
We can just tell them! Tell them she did it!

MISS HONEY
It won't work, Matilda! It would me my word against hers! They'd never believe she was capable of murder! [She wrenches her hands free from MATILDA's.]

MATILDA
But why? She was so cruel to you! She beat you!

MISS HONEY covers her ears with her hands.

MATILDA
She shouted at you! She locked you up in tiny cupboards and threw you into cellars!

MISS HONEY
Stop, Matilda. Please.

MATILDA
Miss Honey, your aunt's a murderer. She killed Magnus. WHO IS SHE?

MISS TRUNCHBULL'S VOICE
A contract is a contract is a contract!

MATILDA
Miss . . . Miss Trunchbull.

MISS TRUNCHBULL walks heavily onto the stage via the steps at the front. MATILDA scurries off and MISS HONEY lies down on the floor of her house as it recedes to the back of the stage. MISS TRUNCHBULL stands on a desk, which rises into the air. The commentator from her videos starts speaking, and MISS TRUNCHBULL flails as though recreating one of her games. The CHILDREN enter and stand by the desks. MISS TRUNCHBULL realises where she is and starts lecturing the CHILDREN.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
In this world, children, there are two types of human being. The winners and the losers. I am a winner. I play by the rules, and I win. If I play by the rules and . . . I do not win, then something is wrong. Something is not working. If something is wrong, you have to put it right. Even if it screams.

MISS TRUNCHBULL walks over to the side of the stage and makes as though to pull at a big chain pull that has descended, then stops short and looks at MISS HONEY.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
What are you looking at?

MISS HONEY
[without fear] You.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
This class is going to have a very special spelling test. Any child who gets one single answer wrong shall go to Chokey. [to ERIC] You! Spell . . . Oh, now, let me see. Spell "newt".

ERIC stands on his chair and turns around.

ERIC
Newt. N - E - W - T. Newt.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
What?

ERIC
Miss Honey taught us. She's very good at teaching.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Nonsense. Miss Honey is far too soft and peachy to be good at anything. Any moron can see that. [to HORTENSIA] You, turn around, and spell the one thing that you all are. "Revolting."

HORTENSIA stands and turns toward the audience.

HORTENSIA
Revolting. R - E - V - O - L - T - I - N - G. Revolting.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
You're cheating!

MISS HONEY
Of course she's not cheating! She's simply spelling a word!

MISS TRUNCHBULL
These little specks of dust can't be this clever. They are worms!

MISS HONEY
I taught them! That's all. With kindness, and patience, and respect!

MISS TRUNCHBULL
How dare you bring those words into my classroom, madam! You know nothing of teaching, and I shall prove it. [to LAVENDER] You, filth-bog, snot nose. Spell . . . "amchella-kamaneal-septicanis-timosis"!

MISS HONEY
What? That's not a word! You just made it up!

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Spell or go to Chokey! And I should warn you: It has silent letters.

LAVENDER
A . . . M . . . C - H . . . E . . . L . . . L . . . A . . . [She hesitantly starts counting on her fingers.]

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Oh dear. Oh, dearie, dearie –

LAVENDER
K!

MISS TRUNCHBULL
No, I'm so sorry; it was a silent Z! You're going to Chokey!

MISS TRUNCHBULL takes LAVENDER by the wrist and drags her down the stairs off the stage. Before they get too far, NIGEL stands up on his desk.

NIGEL
Cat! C - A - F! Cat! I got it wrong, miss. You have to put me in Chokey, too.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
What?

ERIC stands on his desk.

ERIC
Dog. D - Y - P. Dog. And me!

AMANDA stands on her desk.

AMANDA
Table. X - A - B - L - Y. And me.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
What are you doing? What's going on? Stop this. Sit down.

HORTENSIA stands on her desk.

HORTENSIA
You can't put us all in the Chokey!

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Sit down. Sit down! 

HORTENSIA
Bananas! B - X - Y - G - A –

All CHILDREN, except BRUCE, stand on their desk and start shouting. MISS TRUNCHBULL staggers over to the chain pull and pulls it. There is a sound of a heavy door closing, and the gates of the school cast a shadow on the CHILDREN. They go silent and sit in their seats.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
"You have to put me in Chokey, too. You can't put us all in the Chokey, miss." Come now, maggots. You think I haven't thought of that?

MISS TRUNCHBULL takes a large radio transmitter from her belt. Delicately, she extends the antenna and flips open the lid, then presses a button. Green laser beams start to shoot from every which way across the theatre, shrouding everything in green light.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
I've been busy! A whole array of Chokeys! One for each and every one of you! Now that our little spelling test is over, I can tell you that each and every one of you has failed!

MATILDA peeks out from under her desk and extends her hands to the chalkboard. A piece of chalk starts moving upon the board.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
You see, maggots, in this world, there are two types of human being. The winners and the losers. And I –

NIGEL
The chalk! Look, the chalk!

MISS TRUNCHBULL
What?

CHILD
It's moving.

ERIC
It's moving! It's . . . It's writing something.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
What the devil? Who? Who?

CHILD
No one. No one's doing anything.

MISS TRUNCHBULL switches off the lasers. The chalk starts writing as the CHILDREN read the words from the board.

CHILD
Ag - a - tha. Agatha.

CHILD
This - is - Magnus.

MISS HONEY reaches up as though to touch the letters, then looks at MATILDA.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
He can't. He can't!

CHILD
Give - my - Jen - ny - back - her - house.

CHILD
Then - LEAVE!

MISS TRUNCHBULL
No. No, no, no, no, no.

CHILD and MISS TRUNCHBULL
Or - I - will - get - you –

CHILD and MISS TRUNCHBULL
– like - YOU - GOT - ME!

CHILDREN and MISS HONEY
Run! Run! RUN! [etc.]

MISS TRUNCHBULL makes as though to erase the letters, but is bullied off the steps on the stage and disappears. The CHILDREN scream in triumph. BRUCE, who has until this point been silent, stands on his desk and takes out a microphone.

BRUCE
Whooo-a!
Never again will she get the best of me.
Never again will she take away my freedom.
And we don't forget the day we fought –

CHILDREN
For the right to be a little bit naughty!
Never again –

BRUCE
– will the Chokey door slam!

CHILDREN
Never again –

BRUCE
– will I be bullied, and –

CHILDREN
Never again –

BRUCE
– will I doubt it when –

CHILDREN
My mummy says I'm a miracle.
Never again!

MATILDA walks over to MISS HONEY. They take each other by the hand and run off.

CHILDREN
Never again will we live behind bars.
Never again now that we know we are
Revolting children,
Living in revolting times.
We sing revolting songs,
Using revolting rhymes.
We'll be revolting children
Till our revolting's done,
And we'll have the Trunchbull bolting –
We're revolting.

Aarrrh!

We are revolting children, 
Living in revolting times.
We sing revolting songs,
Using revolting rhymes.
We'll be revolting children
Till our revolting's done,
And we'll have the Trunchbull bolting –
We're revolting.

TOMMY
We will become a screaming hoard!

LAVENDER
Take out your hockey stick and use it as a sword!

BRUCE
Never again will we be ignored!

HORTENSIA
We'll find out where the chalk is stored!

NIGEL
And draw rude pictures on the board!

ALICE
It's not insulting!

CHILDREN
We're revolting!

We can S - P - L how we like.
If enough of us are wrong,
Wrong is right.
Every one N - O - R - T - why?
'Cause we're a little bit naughty!

So we got to stay inside the line.
If we disobey at the same time,
There is nothing that the Trunchbull can do.

BRUCE
She can take her hammer and S - H - U –

CHILDREN
You didn't think you could push us too far,
But there's no going back now. We
R - E - V - O - L - T - I - N –

BRUCE
Revolting times!

CHILDREN
We'll S - I - N - G –

BRUCE
Songs!

CHILDREN
U - S - I - N - G –

BRUCE
Rhymes!

CHILDREN
We'll be R - E - V - O - L - T - I - N - G.
It is 2L84U.
We R - E - volting.

OLDER KIDS start jumping in from off the stage and join the CHILDREN.

CHILDREN and OLDER KIDS
We are revolting children, 
Living in revolting times.
We sing revolting songs,
Using revolting rhymes.
We'll be revolting children
Till our revolting's done.
It is 2L84U.

The next three verses overlap.

[CHILDREN
We are revolting children, 
Living in revolting times.
We sing revolting songs,
Using revolting rhymes.
We'll be revolting children
Till our revolting's done.

OLDER KIDS
We R - E - V - O - L - T - I - N.
We'll S - I - N - G,
U - S - I - N - G.
We'll be R - E - V - O - L - T - I - N - G.

BRUCE
Never again will she get the best of me.
Whooo-a!
Down, down, down, down.]

CHILDREN and OLDER KIDS
It is 2L84U.
We are revolting!

With a bang, the theatre is showered in confetti. The CHILDREN and OLDER KIDS run off stage and the scene changes to the library. MATILDA is standing facing the books, with a collection of books in her hand. MISS HONEY walks in reading from a piece of paper, and MRS PHELPS stands on a small block.

MRS PHELPS
A few days later, the Acrobat and the Escapologist's daughter received a letter from a solicitor. It said that her parents' will had mysteriously turned up, and she was now the owner of a beautiful old house, which had, up until that moment, been owned by the evil aunt, one Agatha Trunchbull. She moved in immediately. And she was very happy. Happier than she had ever been in her entire life.

MISS HONEY
And as for Miss Trunchbull, she was never seen again. The Chokeys were immediately destroyed, and a new headmistress took over.

MRS PHELPS
And her name was . . . [She points happily.] Miss Honey. And it is often said that it was the best school in all the land.

MISS HONEY
And do you know something else? Matilda was never again able to move things with her eyes. I thought it was because her mind was being challenged, but she said it was because she no longer had a need for superpowers. Sometimes I would look at her . . . The little girl who had done so much to help others, but was stuck with parents who were mean, and cruel, and called her names, and I would feel my blood boil, and I would wish that I could just . . . do something.

MRS PHELPS
So, this is the end. And I wish so much that I could tell you that the story has a happy ending. I wish so much that I could tell you that Matilda got the love she deserved. But perhaps the truth is . . . not all stories have happy endings.

There is a pause. The sound of a car pulling up is heard. MR WORMWOOD, MRS WORMWOOD, MICHAEL, and RUDOLPHO enter from the stairs to the left of the stage. MICHAEL is wearing a sombrero and RUDOLPHO carries an inflatable alligator.

MR WORMWOOD
Don't just stand there gawping! We're going to Spain!

MATILDA
Spain? But why? 

MRS WORMWOOD
Because this idiot, this nit, this twit-brain, seemed to think it was a good idea to sell one hundred fifty five old bangers . . . to the Russian mafia!

MR WORMWOOD
I didn't know they were the flaming Russian mafia, did I? [He takes MATILDA by the wrist.] Come on, boy. We're leaving forever and we're never coming back.

MR WORMWOOD starts to drag MATILDA off stage. MISS HONEY runs to stand in his way.

MISS HONEY
Let Matilda stay here! With me.

MR WORMWOOD
I beg your pardon!

MISS HONEY
Mr Wormwood, I would love to take Matilda. If she'd like to stay with me, that is. I would look after her with love and care, and I'd pay for everything. Would . . . Would you like that, Matilda?

MR WORMWOOD
You mean . . . You mean, leave our daughter here with you?

MATILDA
[shocked] What did you say? Did you . . . ?

MRS WORMWOOD
They'll be here any minute!

MATILDA
Dad? You called me your daughter.

There is the sound of a car pulling up. The Wormwoods and RUDOLPHO scatter.

MRS PHELPS
Quick! Hide in the books!

RUDOLPHO
What if they damage my legs? My beautiful legs?

Several HENCHMEN in dark suits walk onto stage from the steps on both sides. They are carrying weapons, including a baseball bat and a crowbar. SERGEI, their head, steps onto stage in a fur-lined cloak. He pulls a pink lollipop from his mouth.

SERGEI
[to MATILDA] You are the Wormwoods' daughter?

MATILDA
Yes.

SERGEI
Where is your father?

MATILDA
He's . . . I don't know.

SERGEI
Wormwood is a stupid man. And, being stupid, he assumed I was stupid too. And that is a very, very stupid, and rude, thing to do.

MATILDA
Yes, I am afraid my daughter is quite rude. And very, very stupid.

SERGEI
You know this? At least there is one clever one in the family.

The HENCHMEN laugh. SERGEI cuts them off with a gesture.

SERGEI
What is your name, little girl?

MATILDA
Matilda.

SERGEI
I like you, Matilda. You seem smart. Certainly, in my line of work, you don't often get to meet smart people like you. Most of the people I deal with, their thinking is all backwards.

MICHAEL
Backwards!

The HENCHMEN scatter, looking for the Wormwoods.

SERGEI
Приятно познакомиться с такой умной девочкой.
[Prijatno poznakomit’sja s takoj umnoj devočkoj.]

MATILDA
Спасибо. Мне тоже приятно познакомиться с вами.
[Spasibo. Mne tože prijatno poznakomit’sja s vami.]

SERGEI
Ты говоришь по-русски?
[Ty govoriš’ po-russki?]

MATILDA
Не так хорошо, как мне хотелось бы. Но я буду стараться и изучать дальше.
[Ne tak horošo, kak mne hotelos’ by. No ja budu starat’sja i izučat’ dal’še.]

SERGEI
Matilda! Who taught you how to speak Russian?

MATILDA
Well, I taught myself, I suppose. I was reading Dostoyevsky, and I just thought it would be better to read it in the language it was written in.

SERGEI leans down and kisses her three times on the cheeks.

SERGEI
I am Sergei! It is truly an honour to meet you, Matilda Wormwood. Matilda, your father has been stupid and rude to both of us, yes? I could very easily have one of my friends teach him manners. And one day, when he leaves hospital, he will still be stupid, but not so rude, I think. I give this as a gift to you. What do you say?

MATILDA takes SERGEI by the hand and pulls him to the side.

MATILDA
Mr Sergei, this is a very tempting offer. But he is my father, and I am his daughter. I think I've had enough of revenge.

SERGEI takes his dark glasses off and bends on one knee.

SERGEI
This little girl . . .
This miracle . . .
Matil-da . . .

HENCHMAN 1
Da?

HENCHMAN 2
Da?

HENCHMEN
Da!

All the henchmen raise their weapons at MR WORMWOOD, who is cowering on the floor.

SERGEI
Что вы делаете?!
[Čto vy delaete?!]

HENCHMAN 1
Вы сказали "Да"!
[Vy skazali "Da"!]

HENCHMAN 2
Я не сказал "Да"!
[Ja ne skazal "Da"!]

SERGEI
МатильДА! я сказал "МатильДА"!
[Matil’DA! ja skazal "Matil’DA"!]

The HENCHMEN walk away, placated.

SERGEI
Что с вами сегодня!
[Čto s vami segodnja!]

[to MATILDA] Your father is very, very stupid. But he is also very, very, very . . . very lucky to have you as his daughter. Although, if I happen to be doing business here again and I see him, he will not be so lucky.

SERGEI and the HENCHMEN leave.

MRS WORMWOOD
Quick! Let's get out of here before they change their minds!

MR WORMWOOD
Wait, what about the girl?

MRS WORMWOOD makes a sound of disgust as she hurries away.

MR WORMWOOD
[to MATILDA] Do you – want to – stay here, with Miss Honey?

MATILDA
Yes. Yes, I do!

MR WORMWOOD
[to MISS HONEY] And do you want to, er, look after her?

MISS HONEY
I do.

MR WORMWOOD
Well. We are a bit short of room, so, yes.

MATILDA
Thank you. 

  MATILDA holds out her hand to her father. He takes it gingerly in two fingers, and shakes it. After a thought, he tips his hat to her, and it comes away easily in his hand. He pauses, and exits down the stairs. MATILDA runs to MISS HONEY.

MISS HONEY
And Matilda leapt into Miss Honey's arms –

MATILDA
– and hugged her.

MISS HONEY
Oh, Miss Honey hugged her back.

MRS PHELPS
And they hardly noticed as the Wormwoods –

RUDOLPHO [off stage]
And Rudolpho!

MRS PHELPS
As the Wormwoods and Rudolpho sped away into the distance.

MRS PHELPS exits, pushing a cart of books. MATILDA and MISS HONEY have eyes only for each other.

MISS HONEY
Because they had found each other.

MATILDA
Yes. They'd found each other.

MATILDA and MISS HONEY hold hands and walk together to the back of the stage. After a few steps, they drop hands and do cartwheels next to each other.

Lights go down. They come up again to ERIC gliding across the stage on a scooter. For the curtain call, the whole cast, in turns, comes out on their own scooter, wheel around the stage, and take their bows.

COMPANY
When I grow up,
(When I grow up, when I grow up)
I will be tall enough to reach the branches
That I need to reach to climb
The trees you get to climb
When you're grown up.

And when I grow up,
(When I grow up, when I grow up)
I will be smart enough to answer all
The questions that you need to know
The answers to
Before you're grown up.

And when I grow up,
I will eat sweets every day,
On the way to work,
And I will go to bed late every night.

And I will wake up
When the sun comes up,
And I will watch cartoons until my eyes go square,

And I won't care
'Cause I'll be all grown up.
When I grow up . . .

MISS TRUNCHBULL scooters down stage as the back of the stage parts.

COMPANY
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
Won't change a thing.

The company lines up on both sides of the middle of the stage. MATILDA walks out to the front of the stage, and each member of the company bows down as she passes them.

COMPANY
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 . . .

The cast starts to make their exits, leaving MATILDA at the front of the stage.

COMPANY
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 –

MISS TRUNCHBULL glides across the back of the stage, angrily.

MISS TRUNCHBULL
Maggots!

COMPANY
– naughty!

The stage goes dark aside from a spotlight on MATILDA. She jumps into her characteristic pose, fists poised on her hips, head tilted high and to the right.

Lights go down. When they go up again, the cast (including the orchestra) make their final bows.
______________________________________________________________________

*With thanks to current and past Matildas – Kerry Ingram on Twitter, and Sophia Gennusa and Milly Shapiro in person – for deciphering these lyrics, which are normally drowned out by the other verse.