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The Worst Witch
March 12th - March 16th
Kenny Wax Family Entertainment, Novel Theatre and Nica Burns present a
Royal & Derngate, Northampton Production
Jill Murphy’s The Worst Witch
A new play by Emma Reeves
Directed by Theresa Heskins
Long before Harry Potter there was Mildred Hubble. An ordinary girl who found herself in an extraordinary place: a school for witches. Now in her final year, accident prone Mildred and her fellow pupils are about to embark on their biggest and most important adventure yet…
Jealous Ethel Hallow is always out to spoil Mildred’s fun. Miss Hardbroom is opposed to all fun in general. And just as Mildred sparks some inevitable mayhem certain to upset them both, an old enemy returns with a plan for revenge that could threaten not just the Academy, but the whole world.
Jill Murphy’s The Worst Witch stories have sold more than five million copies worldwide and been made into numerous films and TV series. The most recent and successful of which is written by playwright Emma Reeves (Royal Television Society Award for Best Children’s TV Programme and 2017 British Screenwriters Award for Best Children’s Programme), who now brings these stories to life on stage in a major new play touring the UK direct from a Royal & Derngate Christmas season.
Featuring all of Jill Murphy’s beloved characters, this thrilling new stage adaptation is directed by Theresa Heskins (2017 UK Theatre Award for Best Show for Children and Young People) and features original songs, music, magic and a dose of Mildred’s unique brand of utter pandemonium!
Most suitable for ages 7+
Approximately 2 hours – TBC.
Illustration Copyright © Jill Murphy
Choice Radio Worcester
It's generally a good sign when a show starts before the curtain goes up so the omens are good when you enter the auditorium to the sounds of songs such as Magic, Strange Brew and Love Potion No 9 with the show's cast wandering around the seating area.
The music was particularly appropriate given that the show was The Worst Witch, based on the books written by Jill Murphy when she was just 18 with main character Mildred apparently based on herself with others drawn from her school friends and teachers (heaven knows what sort of school she went to!).
It is obviously a story which still resonates with kids today (some of whom went dressed in witch's outfits with cats in hand) with any stage version having to include some clever magic and trickery and there was plenty of that here - you just try and work out how Edna disappears into a suitcase!
There is also a good selection of songs played live by three of the cast.
With Mildred (Danielle Bird) finding herself accidentally joining a school for witches, her nemesis is Ethel (Rosie Abraham) who refers to those not of her social standing as plebs - including the audience! Everyone will have their favourite character but certainly one of the best is/are Agatha/Miss Cackle played with obvious relish and more than a nod to a pantomime baddie by Polly Lister as the twin sisters battle with each other to comic effect.
The special effects all worked a treat as, luckily, did the acrobatic broom flying sequence which was certainly more complicated than expected and there was also an element of audience participation when, in order to get the spells to work, some effort from everyone present is required.
With the third series of the TV version currently being broadcast on CBBC, this is a great opportunity for kids to see some familiar characters live on stage performing magic before their very eyes.
Took some middle aged residents to see the show. We laughed our heads off but equally moving at times.
Fantastic show for anyone to see!
I came with a group of Year 3 and Year 4 children who thoroughly enjoyed the show. Everyone in the cast is extremely talented. They can dance, act, sing, do acrobatics and play instruments. Fantastic entertainment. I hope more schools have booked to come and see this wonderful show. And if they haven’t yet, they must!