Matilda is small, mighty and one of the most beloved storybook heroes around - and now she's being brought to life for audiences in Auckland.
The Royal Shakespeare Company's (RSC) acclaimed production of Matilda the Musical features all the hallmarks of Roald Dahl's much-loved novels - plucky children, monstrous adults and a good dose of magic.
The stage show, which officially opens at The Civic Theatre on Thursday night, amplifies Matilda's world into a riot of colour, song and dance.
- Tim Minchin visits Auckland ahead of Matilda the Musical
- Minchin parodies classic Aussie track as marriage debate rages
The musical debuted in London in 2010, conceived after Dahl's estate approached the RSC.
"I think [they chose us] because we've got such a good reputation for theatre itself and musical theatre, and for thinking really creatively about how to adapt good literature for the stage," says RSC executive director Catherine Mallyon.
The heady task of writing the music and lyrics was given to Australian comedian Tim Minchin, whose childlike enthusiasm for the story shines through in songs like 'Revolting Children' and 'Naughty'.
Watch The Project's mighty Matilda set tour:
Minchin told Newshub in June that he loved creating songs for a "strong, incredible female character who values intelligence and stories".
"She represents, especially in our version, a sort of sense of self-empowerment, and in the end she's magic and it's awesome."
Four young Matildas lead the cast of the Australian production, rotating through the demanding role. They include New Zealander Venice Harris, who is joined by fellow Kiwi Travis Khan as the flamboyant dance instructor Rudolpho.
Matilda the Musical is playing at Auckland's Civic Theatre until October 22.