★★★★ | The Worst Witch At Vaudeville Theatre “from the moment the young witches take to the stage… we were spellbound.”
Where: Vaudeville Theatre
Review date: Sunday 28th July 2019
About the Show:
The stage adaptation of Jill Murphy’s Worst Witch books delights and captivates all ages.
With some simple but effective puppetry, energetic acrobatics and catchy original songs, The Worst Witch, a play within a play, follows the story of a clumsy Mildred Hubble as she accidentally finds herself at Miss Cackles Academy for witches. As a jealous Ethel Hallow tries to sabotage Mildred’s education, pandemonium breaks out, with potions, tricks and fantastic flying as the young witches try to save not just the academy but the whole world!
I was less familiar with The Worst Witch stories than my 11 and 13-year-old daughters who have both enjoyed the books and the CBBC adaptation, but from the moment the young witches take to the stage in Emma Reeves’ adaptation at the Vaudeville Theatre, we were spellbound.
The musical is perfectly cast, with Danielle Bird as the accident-prone Mildred – who had been made to feel she was never good enough. Another stand out performance comes from Rosie Abraham, who plays Mildred’s arch-enemy, the school snob and teacher’s pet, Ethel Hallow, with devilish ease.
Our favourite character was Miss Cackle/Agatha, played by the dynamic and convincing Polly Lister who during one scene in the second act, perfectly dueted with herself, dressed as both characters.
With flossing, selfies and talk of snowflakes, the production felt contemporary (especially to my 13-year-old), and the friendship between Mildred and Maud (Rebecca Killick) heartwarming. A strong all-female cast who also provided the music had us captivated for the duration.
The kindness, loyalty and bravery Mildred shows throughout are great values for every age to take away.
We all thoroughly enjoyed the production and would recommend flying to the Vaudeville this summer for a great family show.