Eliza is my little bookworm and devours entire books in a couple of days.
Her current favourite book series is The Worst Witch series by Jill Murphy, which I have fond memories of reading when I was at school.
If you have not read any of the books, in a time before a certain boy wizard was even a twinkle in the eye, Mildred Hubble was a trainee witch at Miss Cackle’s Academy, and she made an awful mess of it. She was always getting her spells wrong and she couldn’t even ride a broomstick without crashing it.
Just before the show started, some of the cast of the show appeared in the aisles and were happily chatting to kids as they wandered up and down. Eliza did hide from Miss Hardbroom as she has a fearsome reputation and looked rather scary, but thankfully it was soon time for the show to start and her to head back onstage.
The story is set with Mildred, now in her final year of Miss Cackle’s Academy, putting on a school play about her accident prone start at a school that is most certainly out of the ordinary, with lessons including casting spells, brewing potions, riding broomsticks and training cats.
It was a brilliant way of introducing the story and the characters to the audience and all our favourites were in the play, including Maud, Ethel, Enid and Tabby.
The story was set in and around Miss Cackle’s Academy, with clever set changes, a rocking house-band on stage and some fun song and dance routines, making it part play, part musical.
There were even some clever acrobatics thrown in for good measure, during their broomstick flying demonstration in the first half.
We loved Mildred and her beloved puppet cat Tabby, Ethel was brilliant as her acid-tongued rival, but it was the actress playing Miss Cackle (Polly Lister) that truly stole the show with her brilliant portrayal of Ada and Agatha, Miss Cackle’s evil twin who was intent on spoiling the show.
From a half and half wardrobe to arguing with herself, a clever solo song which showcased the divisions between the sisters and some over-the-top magic tricks she was amazing.
The show was aimed perfectly at a young audience, keeping them entertained with magic and laughter, interacting with them by coming into the audience and asking them to help perform a magical chant when it looked like the chips were really down and evil Agatha was on the verge of winning.
Isaac and Eliza both adored the show, stating it was “AWESOME” and we have come away with the program and a promise to make them each their own cat puppet, just like the ones in the show.
The Worst Witch Live is the perfect introduction to theatre for kids and costs from £19.50 and is on at the Mayflower Theatre until Sunday 10th March 2019, before heading back off on tour of the UK – head to www.worstwitchlive.com for tour dates and locations.
Disclaimer: We were gifted tickets to see the Worst Witch Live for the purpose of a review. All thoughts and opinions are our own