The Worst Witch adapted from Jill Murphy's original books by Emma Reeves is at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh this week (Tuesday 7th to Sunday 12th May).
This stage show brings Miss Cackle's Academy into a contemporary theatre as Mildred and her friends put on a play about life at witching school. A show written by and starring the 'worst witch in the whole school' - what can possibly go wrong?
Mildred is played by Danielle Bird, while the roles of Agatha and Miss Cackle are played by Polly Lister. Rachel Heaton plays Miss Hardbroom, Rebecca Killick plays Maud, Rosie Abraham plays Ethel and Consuela Rolle plays Enid. The cast is completed by Molly-Grace Cutler as Miss Bat/Piano/Guitar/Cello, Megan Leigh Mason as Miss Drill/Guitar/Drums/Percussion/Clarinet, Emma Lau as Drusilla and Meg Forgan as Fenella/Bass Guitar. The show is directed by Theresa Heskins.
This show had our attention from the start with the cast mingling with the audience in preparation for Mildred's production. It opens back stage with the student witches getting ready to put on the show, they talk us through what's going to happen then the play within a play starts.
From the off you can clearly see this is a great cast working together really well and it shows by the fun on stage and the effortless acting.
The set is the simple and effective split on three levels and includes the band. The music is great, upbeat and fun, and there's even montage music which has to be inspired by Conbustible Edison.
The play within a play is great for telling Mildred's story and then adding a familiar villain to the piece with Polly Lister's portrayal of Miss Cackle and her evil twin sister Agatha being one of the many highlights of the performance.
We both really enjoyed the show, Esmé loved all the singing and dancing and when pressed for a more specific answer on her favourite parts she said, "I really like the magical barrier surrounding the school and I loved it all!" and I have to agree. It was a well balanced cast, funny and entertaining. Well worth it if you get the chance to see.
Review by Donald & Esme