bed flying

The Rawlins' children and Miss Eglantine Price take flight.

Picture: Johan Persson

Bedknobs & Broomsticks

Wolverhampton Grand


“Treguna Mekoides Tracorum Satis Dee,” conjured The Sherman Brothers, so tap three times and hold on tight as Disney’s Bedknobs & Broomsticks soars across the stage at The Grand this week.

Directed by Candice Edmunds and Jamie Harrison, the first magical Act begins during the London Blitz as chaotic scenes unfold forcing the recently orphaned Rawlins children to be evacuated, by train, to the country.

An incredible flurry of ingenious set artistry sees Charlie Rawlins, (Conor O’Hara), Carrie Rawlins, (Sapphire Hagon) and Paul Rawlins, (Haydn Court), transported to Pepperinge Eye, where they are thrust onto Miss Eglantine Price’s motorbike and into her home of witchcraft.

Miss Price, (Dianne Pilkington), gets to work trying to master the art of broomstick flying with poise as the children stumble on to the many spellbinding secrets pepping their enthusiasm for a taste of adventure and breakfast blackmail.

How does the broomstick fly through the window without any wires in sight? The clever use of puppetry, for example, when Miss Price flies too close to the moon, adds to the joyous and remarkable fantasy wowing the audience.

When the magical bedknob does the trick and they find Professor Emelius Browne, (Charles Brunton), the charismatic magician explains that the missing spell can be found in Portobello Road among the Rembrandts painted last week on the banks of the Thames. Who wouldn’t want to be perusing the barrows in search of garments owned by a Duchess or a pen used by Shelley?

Act two delves deep into the shimmering, beautiful, briny sea where Emelius flounders about Eglantine bobbing along and singing along to grasp the Star of Astaroth from the King of Nopeopo. It all makes sense in the end when the clothes take on a life of their own making the advancing soldiers disappear . . . or is it all in their imagination?

An uplifting, enchanting broomstick ride with hilarious Frank Spencer impressions from Conor O’Hara as Charlie and amusing dialogue as all Eglantine wants is for Emelius to lie back and think of England. A feast of delights for all the family, with white rabbits, and standout vocals from Dianne Pilkington making Eglantine Price her own.

For a sprinkling of magic and a peep at the creatures of the deep, head to Bedknobs and Broomsticks at Wolverhampton Grand until Saturday 9 April. Tickets are available from the Box Office 01902 429212 or ONLINE.

Emma Trimble


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