Bedknobs and Bromsticks Review

The Alexandra, Birmingham- until Sunday 14th November 2021

Reviewed by Amarjeet Singh


Bedknobs and Broomsticks had me bewitched from the go with its wordless exposition. I was drawn into Blitz Britain. The stage pulled apart with the sound of sirens, and with every sense alight I was taken on a train journey into Pepperinge Eye and then on into the wonderful world of imagination and pure eccentric joy. The simple but sumptuous sets seamlessly showed us the serendipitous meeting between the Rawlins children and the enigmatic and enchanting Miss Eglantine Price.

The plot sees three Rawlins children evacuated during the Blitz and placed in the care of Miss Eglantine Price, who happens to be learning witchcraft, remotely, through a renowned Professor, with hopes of using her spells in the war effort against the Nazi’s. Before she can complete her course, disaster strikes when the Professor sends news that the school has closed. The story then follows their adventures to find the Professor and the final spell which could change the course of history. Armed with an enchanted bedknob, a bewitched broomstick and a magical flying bed what could possibly go wrong?

Bedknobs and Broomsticks is based upon the books ‘The Magic Bedknob’ (1943), ‘Bonfires and Broomsticks’ (1947) and the Disney production, Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) with songs written by the Sherman Brothers, including ‘Portobello Road’, ‘The Age Of Not Believing’ and ‘The Beautiful Briny’. It also contains some new catchy and emotive songs by Neil Bartram. These, and the production, were brought to life by the dazzling sets that are indescribable. No elaborate special effects, just a mixture of lights, colours and a dream like fluidity as an ensemble of actors brought them on to the stage with dance like choreography. Endearing and beautiful like a child’s imagination, I was completely entranced, and I haven’t even got to the bed or the broomstick yet.

Without giving too much of the magic away, there is a land of no people, puppetry, flying shirts, battling suits of armour, a broomstick with a mind of its own, a pescatarian Lion, a glowing bedknob and oodles of spells, but they only work if you have absolute faith and truly believe. I have absolute faith that you will be as spellbound by this charming and heart-warming production of Bedknobs and Broomsticks as I was and I know that after the experience, there will be a part of you that will believe there is magic in the world. Treguna Mekoides Trecorum Satis Dee.