Early performances of Groundhog Day songs suggest a work of heart-breaking brilliance

Tim Minchin Piano

Vincent Ralph looks ahead to Groundhog Day's eagerly anticipated opening night.

Back in February 2012 I saw a musical like nothing I have witnessed before or since.

I have seen practically every other big show the West End has to offer, but none of them come close to the unadulterated joy and sheer brilliance of Matilda.

The show – adapted by Dennis Kelly with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin – was truly breath-taking and even now, more than four years on, I still get goose bumps thinking about it.

Unsurprisingly Matilda the Musical has gone on to be a smash hit on both sides of the Atlantic, which makes the upcoming release of Minchin’s latest work – a musical adaptation of Groundhog Day – all the more exciting.

When tickets went on sale for a 10-week run at The Old Vic later this year, missing out was not an option for me.

I imagined what it would have been like if I had never seen Matilda and, while I would have been none the wiser in the grand scheme of things, I would have missed out on one of the most thrilling nights of my life.

Minchin is a composer and lyricist like no other and following his work on Matilda expectation is understandably high for his new show.

I was lucky enough to hear some of the songs from Groundhog Day when Minchin played at Koko in 2014, and it shows just how long the process has been that the curtain will finally rise two-and-a-half years later.

If those superb songs are anything to go by, Groundhog Day will be a work of heart-breaking brilliance.

Only time will tell, but where Minchin is concerned genius is all but guaranteed.

Groundhog Day will play a 10-week season at The Old Vic from Monday 11 July to Saturday 17 September. Ticket details can be found here.