Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Palace Theatre, Manchester

HALLOWEEN may not be upon us just yet but a magical tale of witchcraft and secret spells is already delighting audiences.

The world premiere stage production of Disney’s classic movie, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, flew into Manchester's Palace Theatre on Tuesday.

The new musical, based on the much-loved 1971 musical fantasy film, is a real treat for fans familiar with the plot and younger audiences who may not know the enchanting story.

When the three orphaned Rawlins children are evacuated from wartime London to live with the mysterious Eglantine Price, plenty of adventures lie ahead.

Upon discovering Eglantine to be an apprentice witch, they join forces to hunt for a secret spell to defeat the enemy once.

Armed with an enchanted bedknob, a bewitched broomstick and a magical flying bed, they encounter new friendships on their journey from Portobello Road to the depths of the beautiful briny sea.


Bedknobs & Broomsticks, Johan Persson

Bedknobs & Broomsticks, Johan Persson


Everything in this production is a delight ­— from the talented cast to the wondrous special effects, dazzling costumes ­and entertaining puppetry — it is sure to leave you beaming from ear to ear.


Bedknobs & Broomsticks, Johan Persson

Bedknobs & Broomsticks, Johan Persson


Dianne Pilkington leads the company as Eglantine, the role made famous on film by Angela Lansbury.

She is truly spectacular, never putting a foot or note wrong even when grappling with a broomstick seemingly with a mind of its own.


Bedknobs & Broomsticks, Johan Persson

Bedknobs & Broomsticks, Johan Persson


Opposite Dianne is Charles Brunton, who plays Emelius Browne, bringing a charm to the conman who wins the family round.

Conor O'Hara is thoroughly entertaining as the eldest Rawlins child, Charlie, particularly during his musical numbers.

The two younger children, Paul and Carrie Rawlins, are played by Jasper Hawes and Evie Lightman, who demonstrate talent well beyond their years.

The new musical is directed by award-winning theatre-makers Candice Edmunds and Jamie Harrison.

Catch it at the Palace Theatre, Manchester, before it flies out on Sunday.