Growing up watching the original TV Worst Witch series, I was excited to see how Emma Reeves’ adaption would transfer to the stage. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed.
From the start, the audience is welcomed into Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches. The students and teachers are putting on a school show, and the mixture of behind the scenes and on stage works perfectly. The set, designed by Simon Daw, makes me think of the gymnasium PE wall climbing frames that we used to have, with lots of bars and steps to multiple levels.
The puppetry, designed by Paschale Straiton, mixed with the upbeat, very British songs composed by Luke Potter makes this show a joy to watch for all the family.
The storytelling and Theresa Heskins’ direction is superb. It’s incredible how much the cast fitted into a two-hour show.
Danielle Bird makes a wonderful Mildred, clumsy and comical. Never once letting the silly character slip, Bird’s impressive circus skills lead to a very entertaining broomstick flying sequence.
It wouldn’t be a girls school without a school bully, which is found in the slightly snobby and rude Ethel, performed with great gusto by Rosie Abraham.
At first, you want to hate Miss Hardbroom, but Rachel Heaton brings light and shade to the character, proving there is a good teacher under the hard exterior.
A round of applause must go to all the actor-musicians as well, as they accompanied the whole show with some impressive sound effects as well as background music.
The Worst Witch Live makes you feel like a kid again and that magic is real. It’s an extraordinary show that creates magic before your eyes.
On at The Lowry Theatre until the 31st of March, tickets and information can be found on their website.