Bedknobs & Broomsticks the musical will leave you bobbing & singing along in the beautiful briny sea
Based on the classic Disney film we all know, love and probably watch repeats of when on TV over the festive season, released believe it or not 51years ago! (feel old yet??) starring the iconic Angela Lansbury as apprentice witch Miss Eglantine Price. This musical stage version uses about 70% of the original story minus the likes of the animal football match, which I am guessing would have been too technically complicated to include, but it is filled in with extra songs, scenes and backstories for the children and Miss Price.
In this touring version of the show Miss Price the eccentrically posh spinster witch in training is played superbly by West End superstar Dianne Pilkington (star of Wicked, Mamma Mia, Cats & many more) who absolutely nails her characters eccentricities and initial loathe for the 3 war orphan children assigned temporarily to her care. Just like the film they go on a magical journey in the search of the missing half of The Spells of Astoroth assisted by parlour trick magician Emelius Browne played by Charles Brunton who has definitely studied David Tomlinsons film version and added his own twist to the character.
The show takes you on a journey with Miss Price's, Mr Browne and the children from her home in the country village of Pepperinge Eye to London and the famous Portobello Road and then onto the Island of Nepeepo via a magic flying and colour changing Bed controlled by Paul and his magic bedknob. All in the search of the star of Astoroth for the last 5 words of a spell that could potentially win the war without the need to send actual soldiers to war. Along the way they encounter characters of the Portobello Road Markets, singing and dancing fish in the pearly ballroom including iconic bobbing along song from the film in tow and creatively presented for the theatre stage.
They arrive at the Island of Nepeepo which is an island inhabited only by talking animals (depicted very cleverly through manhandled puppets) and ruled over by lion ruler King Leonidas. Miss Price and Mr Browne use their newly formed magical duo act to steal the star from around the king's neck and escape back to Pepperinge Eye to battle the wa enemy with items such as clothes, swords, trumpets all without any humans being involved using the 5 worded spell. I did notice that the musical never mentions the word Nazi’s like in the film but I think it is depicted well enough to be in keeping with the film without the history lesson.
All in all a thoroughly enjoyable and well put together show which will have you wanting to go home and watch the classic film over again.
Bedknobs and Broomsticks the Musical runs at the Grand Opera House Belfast until Sunday 1st May , you can get tickets via https://www.goh.co.uk/whats-on/bedknobs-and-broomsticks/