ROALD Dahl's classic story has captured the hearts of adults and children alike for generations and, likewise, the musical version of Matilda has become something of an iconic show.

The story of an extraordinary little girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny, the Royal Shakespeare Company's production is two-and-a-half hours of pure magic. Dahl's uncanny ability to see the world through the eyes of a child is captured brilliantly on stage.

The larger than life characters of Matilda's uninterested parents Mr and Mrs Wormwood and bullying headteacher Miss Trunchbull are brought to life as accurately as if they had jumped straight off the pages of the book.

Some imaginative staging and the clever use of adult cast members as children made it feel as if we were all reliving our carefree, childhood school days.

Overall, the songs aren't the catchiest, but there are two or three poignant numbers which tug at the heartstrings, and the rousing Revolting Children was a stand-out moment.

The entire cast were faultless, but the talents of the children were impossible to ignore. Supremely confident actors, singers and dancers, it was easy to forget we were watching young performers and not seasoned professionals.

Freya Scott was simply outstanding as Matilda – word perfect, buckets of empathy but feisty when necessary, and a strong little dancer and mindblowingly brilliant singer to boot.

Matilda runs at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, until July 6.