Tricks and treats galore at family classic Bedknobs and Broomsticks
- Credit: Johan Persson
It must have been about 30 years since I last saw the film version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on one of those last term days at middle school.
And with the classic Disney movie now on stage at Norwich's Theatre Royal I thought it a perfect opportunity to introduce my three little ones to this world of magic and fantasy.
As we settled in I soon realised I barely remembered the 1971 film, starring Murder She Wrote's Angela Lansbury, but it mattered not as I was reintroduced to the orphaned Rawlins children who were evacuated from wartime London to live in the country with Eglantine Price (Dianne Pilkington).
Price, a trainee witch, was joined by the children as she searched for a secret spell that would help her defeat the enemy and take her on a journey, propelled by a broomstick and a magical flying bed, that would also help her to find love with Professor Emelius Browne (Charles Brunton).
The first few minutes of the Michael Harrison production where there was no dialogue but clever use of props and quick scene changes, depicting the children's evacuation from war-torn London to the countryside, set the scene for what was to follow.
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The show was bursting with tricks - cast members who appeared in a cloud of smoke and characters who were turned magically into animals cleverly depicted by puppets controlled by puppeteers who blended into the background of a set which, as always at the Theatre Street venue, did not disappoint.
There were floating lights and picture frames aplenty, and a mischievous broomstick too, but the jewel in the crown of this enchanting musical was the magical flying bed which took both the cast and audience to different lands.
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Add to the magic mix some stand-out songs including Portobello Road and The Age of Not Believing and it meant the show was a joyous song and dance.
We might be more than a month away from Halloween, but there were enough tricks and treats in this production to make the family favourite a must-see.
Bedknobs and Broomsticks runs at Norwich Theatre Royal until October 3.
Log onto www.norwichtheatre.org or call (01603) 630000 for more details.