How the Matilda Musical Made Me Realize My Life is Ruled by Bullies

BY IZAK FLASH

Since it's the first post by Izak, it's definitely necessary for an intro and since I'm chatty, the word count might get unnecessarily long.

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29 AUG - 2017

Izak was my all time favourite colleague and pretty much kept me sane at work by being a humorous confidant.

All the super-shitty stuff that constantly happened to me, and him as well sometimes, was retold from a perspective that made me laugh until I was in tears or stitches or both and perhaps made me leak a bit of urine too. He just made life seem a lot less serious than it was.

He was incredibly kind, a super hard worker and best of all, put up with a lot of neediness from me. It started off when I first started working with him and I'd constantly say, "Hey Isaac! Look at this!" as I would swivel the screen towards him to show a meme that I found absolutely hilarious but of course, he had already seen the entire contents of the internet and found it mildly amusing at best, but mostly would just give me the look best aptly described by this emoji "-_-".

When I found out he was leaving work, I cried a bit. I think at one point, I may have woken up early to cry because I was so worried about how I was going to survive work without him (selfish, I know. But the point is that I did survive and I am surviving because people are designed to survive and adjust to their new environments pretty easily) and how absolutely miserable I may become without anyone to make me laugh.

When I moved desks to sit with the directors, I'd come into work in the morning, turn my computer on, take my mug to Isaac on the way to the kitchen and stay there for 30 minutes chatting shit, then make my coffee, come back and chat more shit for 30 minutes and would then sit at my desk to start my day at around 10am. At around 3pm, we also went for walks to the dairy if I wasn't swamped or off somewhere drinking champagne with some industry people. He was always at work and that reliable consistency was like having a rock. He would buy his $2 pepsi or coke or some kind of heart-attack inducing energy drink and I'd get sometimes get ice-cream.

Anyway, he's since moved on and is working with much better pay for way less hours and of course, HAS YET TO COME AND VISIT ME IN THE CITY. He did tell me something along the lines of, 'you'll never see me again,' but I know where you live Izak and one day, I will earn enough to own a car and pay insurance for it!

We sometimes text and it somehow has ended in the enforcement of my using Google Chat. These message are always funny and not worthy of being seen by only one person, so the Editor and I share our texts from Izak to each other because he's just that kind of person who is so goddamn loveable with only some minor flaws in sight. And those said flaws stem from a place of being too kind.

Izak wrote a review of Matilda when it came out for Chatty Chums - I'm not sure if the musical is relevant anymore but it's still a great read. I love how it encapsulates the different socio statuses and how he has no clue about the celebrity scene, albeit small, of New Zealand... if you can even call it that. I also love the short but succinct observation of adult bullies. I too, experienced this in full strength last year and I'm not sure if the bullies are even aware of what they did to me. I got the combo of friendship turned betrayal turned maliciousness but it's a lesson to be learnt at some point in our lives, and the earlier the better, about being able to have good judgement of people. Naivety won't get you to many places.

Here's his review of Matilda - I hope you enjoy a glimpse into the godsend that is Izak.

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Matilda The Musical

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Miss Trunchbull Played By James Millar

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The Review

"I’m not a theatre person. No, that’s a lie. I am. I just don’t LOOK like a theatre person. Two weeks prior I went to the Zelda Orchestra, which admittedly was full of filthy millennials like myself who were willing to part with a large swathe of cash in the name of nostalgia. Prior to this, I would go to my theatre buddies' various plays which vary from feminist renditions of Hamlet to deeply troubling tales of families coming to terms with their father being a rapist. Engaging stuff. For all this, I rarely go to musicals.

So on Thursday 24th I found myself at the opening night of Roald Dahl’s Matilda. The first impression I got when entering the Civic was “Damn, I am way underdressed for this.”
The Bachelor (the cool one that everyone liked) and his wife (who has since negated the Bachelor’s status(I think)) looked good standing around. A child posed on the staircase in the foyer covered in diamonds. A 10 year old stood at attention in his penguin suit next to his equally penguined dad.
In my left jacket pocket was a bag of peanut M&M’s, and in my right, a bag of jerky. My wife hunted around, found two kids who looked like just regular kids and used them as the bar for whether her semi-formal work clothes were underdressing or not. She passed with flying colours.
Upon entering the theatre properly, we were instantly dazzled by the set design, which looked like a giant game of scrabble had exploded all up the sides of the front of the stage.

The opening numbers kicks off and instantly sets the tone for what’s to come. Brattish children proclaim they’re little miracles while their parents fawn over them. I couldn’t help but think of the diamond covered kid on the staircase, posing for her photo from her parents who were relishing the chance to trot out their expensive designer child.

Then came Matilda, a character who had never been told she was ever anything but a pile of maggots, but who had an innate sense of justice. Finally was Miss Honey, a well intentioned sweet hearted teacher who has been ground up by the school system as much as her students.

The story will hit you right in the heart. It’s as timely as it was in 2010 when it was first put to the stage and in 1996 when Roald Dahl finished penning it, two years before his own death. It takes pot shots at our flawed school system but always comes back to the emotive side of the story.

Bully’s exist, both when you’re a kid and as an adult. In fact they can be even worse as adults. They’re more methodical in wearing you down.

The story simply asks, are you going to take it? I pondered this as I nibbled on jerky.

The show itself was spectacular, the kids were on point and Izellah Connelly’s rendition of Matilda was great. I later listened to some youtube clips of a few of the songs that got caught in my head from the original stage show, and I thought our Matilda’s performance was much better. Maybe you’ll be lucky to get her, but there are also three other Matilda’s on standby in case of earthquakes or eagle attacks.

James Millar played Miss Trunchbull, who if you need a refresher is the bullish head-mistress who swings kids around by the hair, which she does with much gusto on stage as well.
If you’ve ever been emotionally tortured, this show is for you."

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