Social Media

Bedknobs and Broomsticks - Curve Review

The latest stage adaptation of the Disney cinematic world sees the 1971 movie Bedknobs and Broomsticks given a big musical treatment. 

Anybody who has seen the film will know the film is full of magic and special effects, something that could prove problematic to stage but it's achieved largely impressively, but not always perfectly. 

The Bedknobs and Broomsticks company, photo Johan Persson

The story follows three 3 children of the Rawlins family who are evacuated during the second world war and end up in the care of apprentice witch Eglantine Price who is working on a spell to protect the land from the invading Nazis. 

Pacing wise the first half is a little bit clunky, with the second half feeling much slicker and enjoyable. There are moments including Eglantine's first broom flight or the first time the bed takes flight that impress but the first half felt a little underwhelming until it reaches the company number of 'Portobello Road'.

The stage adaptation brings most of the Sherman brother's music from the film and it's undeniable that these are the strongest musical numbers. Alongside those beloved songs such as 'The Age of Not Believing' or 'A Step in the Right Direction' Neil Bartram's new songs are mostly forgettable. 

Jamie Harrison's set is gloomy and dark but this allows for the magic and effects to work without the illusion ever being too obvious. Although, unfortunately, there are moments where the tricks aren't pulled off as well as they could be and this hinders the effectiveness. 

The second act starts with two strong moments. Firstly under the sea and the bobbing in 'The Beautiful Briny' sea. The number is brought to life with the vibrant Rob Madge at the heart of it and great use of colour and light by Simon Wilkinson bringing the underwater feel perfectly.  A visit to the island of Nopeepo follows and sees some magnificent puppetry designed by Kenneth MacLeod brought to life excellently.

The Bedknobs and Broomsticks company, photo Johan Persson

None of the problems with the show lie with its superb cast which on the performance I reviewed was led by 3 outstanding understudies. Emma Thornett is superb as Eglentine Price, she characterised the role with skill making it her own. Sam Lupton makes Emelius Browne wonderfully mad-cap but full of charm and likeability. 

The heart of the production is the Rawlins children. All 3 are outstanding. Understudy Robin Simoes Da Silva as Charlie, Jasper Hawes as Paul and Poppy Houghton as Carrie. They are the warmth and the soul of production and light up the stage in every moment.

As the piece headed to it's head-scratching finale I couldn't help leaving feeling largely disappointed. I love the film but this stage adaption just fell a bit flat. There's still plenty to enjoy from the show but on the whole I left wanting more.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Bedknobs and Broomsticks continues at Curve until Sunday 13th February 2022. Tickets are available from The tour continues thereafter visit for full details.

 Bedknobs and Broomsticks, photo Johan Persson

Post a Comment


Theme by STS