It was only a matter of time before Disney looked through its incredible catalogue and realised that, with a little bit of magic, the classic tale of BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS would find its way onto a stage.
Incredibly, it’s now 50 years since the original movie was released, and back in 1971, its 20 million dollar budget was more than considerable. At the time it was compared to Mary Poppins, with its real life and animation sequences, flying beds and football playing lion, and also an incredible, award winning score by the legendary Sherman Brothers (more of them later).
The story tells of the three orphaned Rawlins children who are reluctantly evacuated from wartime London to live with the mysterious Eglantine Price, they have no idea what adventures lie ahead. Upon discovering Eglantine to be a trainee witch, they join forces to search for a secret spell that will defeat the enemy once and for all.
Armed with an enchanted bedknob, a bewitched broomstick and a magical flying bed, they encounter surprising new friendships on their journey from Portobello Road to the depths of the beautiful briny sea.
Tour Producer Michael Harrison said………
“As theatres across the UK & Ireland prepare to reopen, I’m thrilled that so many want to host our exciting new production of Bedknobs and Broomsticks; so we are extending this world premiere tour.
Bedknobs and Broomsticks will be one of the biggest shows on the road this year with a cast and crew of over 70 people to bring this classic story to magical life on stage.”
DIANNE PILKINGTON stars as Miss Eglantine Price, the mysterious lady that the three orphaned Rawlins children are evacuated from wartime London to live with. Dianne’s West End credits include Les Miserables, Wicked, Mamma Mia! and Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein.
CHARLES BRUNTON is playing Emelius Browne. Charles starred in the iconic role of Miss Trunchbull in Matilda both in the West End and on Broadway. Other credits include Love Never Dies, Chess and Scrooge.
The rest of the company includes Mark Anderson, Jessica Aubrey, Georgie Buckland, Kayla Carter, Jonathan Cobb, Jacqui Dubois, Matthew Elliot-Campbell, Sam Lupton, Rob Madge, Vinnie Monachello, Nathaniel Morrison, Conor O’Hara, Sadie-Jean Shirley, Robin Simoes Da Silva, Emma Thornett and Susannah Van Den Berg. The Rawlins children will be played by Dexter Barry, Izabella Bucknell, Haydn Court, Poppy Houghton, Evie Lightman and Aidan Oti.
I remember many years ago, sitting in the dining area of a swanky London hotel, interviewing one of the Sherman Brothers (Richard), my DVD copy of Mary Poppins hidden away in a bag ready for him to sign. As we talked over the course of an hour, it became clear that the songs these two men turned out were more than pieces of music. These are stories that will stay with us, and future generations forever.
Between them they have written music to some of Disney’s greatest hits including Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Aristocats. It’s their magic touch which has given us the soundtrack to Bedknobs and Broomsticks too – Portobello Road, The Age Of Not Believing, and The Beautiful Briny.
Add to that a new book, music and lyrics by Neil Bartram and Brian Hill and the award-winning theatre-makers Jamie Harrison (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) and Candice Edmunds, and the magic really does come to life.
BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS magically flies into the Wales Millennium Centre till Saturday 5th February. Performances are at 7:30pm with 2:30pm matinees on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Tickets start at £18.50 and the best chance is through the week, the Saturday performances are fast filling up. To get yours, and more details, go HERE.