Bedknobs And Broomsticks
Bedknobs And Broomsticks the magical musical extravaganza, has arrived at the Liverpool Empire Theatre!
Presented by Michael Harrison, you will be left bobbing along to a whole host of original hit musical songs by the Sherman brothers, with some additions from Neil Barton.
Evacuees and orphaned siblings Charlie, Carrie and Paul are on a quest to find their new home in the countryside, and escape the war-stricken turmoil that is transpiring in London. They find themselves being trusted in the care of peculiar and unorthodox Miss Eglantine Price, and unbeknownst to them, they are in for an adventure of a lifetime.
Act 1 began in full force, with a thrilling introduction to the show, with actors breaking away out of an encompassing shell disguised as a bedroom set, which then cleverly revealed the rest of the stage. Following that, there was a intricately choreographed movement scene, detailing the trios journey on their route to their new home, which contained dramatic set changes, such as a moving train operated by the performers, quick changing backdrops, bomb re-enactments, and then smell of smoke filling the theatre, creating a thrilling and heightened sensory experience -and that was all before the performers had even spoken! Once the dust had settled, the audience were treated to a good opening number by the troubled trio in, ‘Nobody’s Problems’ where once again, there was amazing use of props and yet another means of transport portrayed by the performers and ensemble, which was very creative and imaginative.
Each of the performers were at an outstanding level, and a lot of credit needs to be given to the ensemble who were constantly manoeuvring and transforming the set with precision and dedication, which was vital component in the flow of the performance.
Both of the leading youngsters playing siblings Carrie Rawlins and Paul Rawlins, were not only adorable, but extremely talented! They wowed the audience with their powerful voices and great acting skills and never failed to keep up with the rest of the cast, a credit to Poppy Houghton and Jasper Hawes.
Conor O’Hara as Charlie Rawlins was particularly strong. He was incredibly charismatic throughout the show, a great singer, and additionally was highly entertaining, delivering each of his lines with comedic flare.
Charles Brunton as the ‘great’ magician Emelius Browne was a delight to watch, especially in the fast paced bustling market scene and musical number, ‘Portobello Road’.
Apprentice witch and guardian Miss Eglantine Price, played by accomplished musical theatre performer Dianne Pilkington, was truly spectacular. She was consistently strong and did a whole lot of justice to the role. It would be difficult to find fault with her performance and she really did steal the show! Her arduous attempt to master witchcraft and tackle a broomstick with a mind of its own, was very impressive and believable, creating the perfect illusion of many to follow for the audience. The musical number, ’A step in the right direction’ was hilariously funny, made the audience laugh out loud.
What really set this performance apart from the rest, was what seemed like, the unlimited capabilities of what can be achieved on stage. The stage was constantly transformed and reinvented through set changes, lighting, and backdrops. Director / Set and illusion designer Jamie Harrison created an utterly magical experience. In act 2, the stage became all things aquatic, with light up fish puppets guided around the stage by the ensemble for the Briny ballroom dance contest, where not all was what it seemed. Additionally, even more intricate puppetry skills we’re demonstrated, with a Bear, ostrich and a lion, which was great for the kids and included a lot of prop trickery.
I was eagerly anticipating the infamous bed scenes from the film and wondering how it could be made possible on stage. I can assure you that it did not disappoint, raising and flying from all angles, probably the highlight of the show which created a magical illusion that was truly outstanding, and left the audience bewildered on how it was even possible.
This spellbinding performance is definitely not to be missed, and is enjoyable for all of the family!
Showing at the Liverpool Empire Theatre, Tuesday 22nd February – Saturday 26th February 2022.
Buy tickets here https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/bedknobs-and-broomsticks/liverpool-empire/