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martha brook blog post how roald dahls matilda shaped my life matilda in the west end.
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How Roald Dahl’s Matilda shaped my life

Published 2 months ago. Estimated reading time: 6 minutes.

Dec 1

A blog by our founder Martha

Today we unveiled one of the most exciting things to have happened in the nine years since I started Martha Brook. We have collaborated with the Roald Dahl Story Company on a Matilda-inspired stationery collection! A total dream come true. Why? Let me take you back to explain what Matilda means to me and how this stupendous collaboration came about.

“The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went to nineteenth-century estates with Jane Austen. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to California with John Steinbeck. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village”. Matilda by Roald Dahl

As you may know, if you read this previous blog, childhood me was a complete and utter bookworm. I was most often found sitting in a quiet corner or curled up in bed, devouring whatever books I could get my hands on. I asked my Mum if she had any pictures, and she didn’t disappoint, sending me several of her favourites of me in my happy place:

I distinctly remember reading Matilda for the first time when I was eight. Instantly enthralled with the gutsy little girl at its heart who, like me, found her escape in reading. But more than that, her bravery, inventiveness, and resilience were tremendously inspiring and have always stuck with me.

martha brook blog post how Roald Dahl's matilda shaped my life martha reading outside

I also, rather embarrassingly, spent a good couple of weeks straining my eyes at various cups of water, convinced that I could also possess telekinetic powers if only I practised enough. Please tell me I am not the only person that did this?!

Perhaps the biggest lesson Matilda taught me is that you don’t need to stay stuck in a situation. Whatever life throws at you, with courage and determination, it can be possible to change your own story. It is exactly that rebellious spirit that led me to quit my corporate job and follow my dreams to start Martha Brook all those years ago.

“Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely unbelievable…” Matilda by Roald Dahl

Fast forward to now, and the story of Matilda has taken on new life for me as a parent. Looking for things for my own little girl to do on Saturday mornings, I signed her up for a local children’s theatre group, only to discover they were preparing for a production of Matilda the Musical. For those not in the know, Matilda the Musical is a stage adaptation of Roald Dahl’s original story by Dennis Kelly with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin. Because my daughter Hermione kept coming home singing the songs and I had never seen the musical myself, we decided we simply had to go!

martha brook blog post how Roald Dahl's matilda shaped my life

From then onwards, we have been quite frankly obsessed with Matilda the Musical in our house. The soundtrack is permanently on in our kitchen or the car. Being only four, Hermione doesn’t know the lyrics to that many songs, but crikey, she knows every single word to the Matilda the Musical soundtrack. On many a long journey, we’ve had her happily sitting in her car seat singing at the top of her lungs, “Even if you are little, you can do a lot. You mustn’t let a little thing like ‘little’ stop you.” Seeing the story inspire her to be brave, bold and brilliant has been magical.

martha brook blog post how Roald Dahl's matilda shaped my life

With all that context, you can imagine my reaction when the Roald Dahl Story Company got in touch with us this year. A real ‘pinch me’ moment! We discussed lots of possible partnership ideas, but as soon as we heard that Matilda the Musical was being released as a major motion picture, we knew it was meant to be. So, here it is, our BIG news! Over the last couple of months, we have been secretly working away to create a wondrous range of stationery to coincide with the film’s release!

martha brook blog post how Roald Dahl's matilda shaped my life

The Martha Brook x Matilda collection is available to buy today, exclusively here on our website. This collection allows grown-ups to enjoy a range of splendid stationery inspired by the power and possibility of everyone’s favourite book-loving hero. As Miss Honey said, “there is a kind of magic in you somewhere.” That’s exactly how we want people to feel when they use items from the Martha Brook x Matilda collection.

martha brook blog post how roald dahl's matilda changed my life martha brook x matilda stationery group shot final

And if that’s not exciting enough, we are delighted to let you know that we are giving away a pair of tickets every day between now and Sunday to see the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda the Musical in London’s West End! All you need to do to enter is buy something from the collection, and you will be entered into a daily draw! Read the details here.

 martha brook blog post how roald dahl's matilda changed my life martha brook x matilda stationery group shot final

I can’t wait to see what you think of the Martha Brook x Matilda collection! Let us know in the comments below and tell us your favourite item! I’d also love to know if you remember reading Matilda as a child and adore the book as much as me?!

P.S. If you want to see the new film, Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical is out in cinemas now in the UK. It will also be coming to Netflix on Christmas Day to the rest of the world and the UK in summer 2023!

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