Page last updated at 14:26 GMT, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 15:26 UK

Dahl's Matilda to hit the stage

Tim Minchin
Comic Tim Minchin has written the music and lyrics

Roald Dahl's classic children's story Matilda is to be adapted into a musical, the Royal Shakespeare Company has announced.

The music and lyrics to the show, which will open at The Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, have been put together by comedian Tim Minchin.

The 1988 book is about a child prodigy who was unloved by her parents.

Dahl's widow, Felicity, said she was "thrilled" that the book was becoming a "reality on stage".

She added: "We are so proud that Roald's stories continue to be met with such excitement and joy by children all over the world.

"And with this project, thousands more children will engage with his magical world yet again, but this time as a wonderful theatrical experience."

"Darkly funny"

The RSC's artistic director Michael Boyd said: "Matilda is a magical and darkly funny book that the RSC has wanted to bring to life on stage for many years.

"I'm delighted - not least as the father of an eight-year-old girl - that Dahl's classic tale will play in Stratford for a family audience to enjoy at Christmas.

"We've very grateful to the Dahl Estate for allowing us to adapt the book."

It is not the first time the story of Matilda has been adapted, as Danny DeVito and Mara Wilson starred in a movie based on the book in 1996.

Dahl died in 1990 aged 74, having penned some of the world's bestselling children's books, including James And The Giant Peach, The Twits and The Witches.

In October, the film version of Dahl's Fantastic Mr Fox will open this year's London Film Festival.

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