This week the Grand Opera House is home for the final week of the UK tour of Disney’s classic Bedknobs and Broomsticks. This tour is the world premiere of the beautiful new stage musical featuring original songs by the legendary Sherman Brothers (Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ), including Portobello Road, The Age Of Not Believing, The Beautiful Briny, and new music and lyrics by Neil Bartram and book by Brian Hill.
As you probably already know the story is of 3 orphaned children evacuated from wartime London. When they arrive in the country to live with Miss Price they are taken on a magical journey around the UK on a flying bed from the busy Portobello Road to the depths of the beautiful Briny Sea.
The set is incredible with many moving parts and pieces moved around stage by the cast. As the bedknob turns we are taken up through the clouds and down to London into a musical and buzzing Portobello Road. Then we float down to the bottom of the Briny Sea where we swim with fish and enjoy a mass of colour, lighting effects and make new friends. You’ll get so lost in it all that you’ll forget to notice the puppetry used to create the set and the characters.
The whole cast were superb, Dianne Pilkington as Miss Price was perfection as the trainee witch, and Charles Brunton as Emelius Browne was quirky and eccentric as the magician.
It’s simply all a joy to watch, it’s a magical musical production, and without a doubt one of the best we’ve seen.
The Belfast shows are the last of the tour, but there’s no doubt it’s not the last we’ll see of it, it’s sure to tour again and again in years to come, and I’m sure we’ll be back to get lost in the magic and fantasy again. We can’t wait!
If you can get your hands on tickets… we highly recommend!