Wednesday, August 10

Tag: Dianne Pilkington

Bedknobs and Broomsticks – Hull New Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

Bedknobs and Broomsticks – Hull New Theatre

Within two minutes of Bedknobs and Broomsticks hitting the Hull New Theatre stage on Tuesday evening, the stage setting fell apart. An almighty cock-up? No, just the most amazing and dramatic opening of any theatre production I have ever witnessed. It was breath-taking and the whole musical continued in the same vein throughout. Take a bow, set and illusion designer, Jamie Harrison, not forgetting the associate scenic and puppet designer Kenneth MacLeod (more of the puppets later). We in the packed theatre were transported to the dark years of the Second World War, hence the aforementioned stage setting collapse, the result of bombing on the London home of the Rawlins family. The three children, orphaned in the tragedy, are packed off to the safety of the countryside. Thirt...
Bedknobs & Broomsticks – The Lowry
North West

Bedknobs & Broomsticks – The Lowry

Musical theatre in Britain is currently heavily influenced by Disney, with three shows (The Lion King, Mary Poppins and Frozen) playing in the West End at present, and 'Beauty and the Beast' arriving in Manchester next month as part of a national tour. Whether you think this is a good or bad thing, it shows no sign of dissipating with the next one off the production line, an adaptation of the much beloved 1971 film musical 'Bedknobs and Broomsticks'. It is fair to say that with a few minor tweaks, the House of Mouse could have another big hit on its hands. The original stories by Mary Norton, author of The Borrowers, were written in the immediate period after the Second World War and the story of the Rawlins children, Charlie (Conor O'Hara), Carrie (Isabella Bucknall) and Paul (Aidan O...
Bedknobs and Broomsticks – Liverpool Empire
North West

Bedknobs and Broomsticks – Liverpool Empire

As someone who has never seen Bedknobs and Broomsticks (I know, I know, I feel like I missed out on many a cult classic) I was worried that I wouldn’t love the musical as much as someone who has nostalgia on their side. I needn’t have worried. I can hand on heart say that that was one of the most beautiful and magical shows I have ever seen in my life - or beauti-cal as our 3 heroes (Charles, Carrie and Paul) would say. We start the show with a bang, quite literally, in a breath-taking sequence of physical theatre. Beginning with the three children happily in their cosy bedroom, their mother and father saying goodnight before a sudden explosion tears their home, and lives, apart. There’s no time to gather their thoughts as we follow them, silently, as they leave the broken street...
Bedknobs and Broomsticks – Leeds Grand Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

Bedknobs and Broomsticks – Leeds Grand Theatre

Every year people gather round their TVs after stuffing their faces to watch the festive classics, and eternally popular among them is Disney’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks offering a quirky mix of live action and animation starring theatre legend Angela Lansbury as yuletide fun for all the family. It’s the story of the grieving Rawlins orphans - Charlie, Paul and Carrie - who are evacuated from bombed out London to a village where they are taken under the wing of local eccentric and trainee witch Eglantine Price. They join Eglantine and dodgy magician Emelius Browne on a series of magical adventures before taking on a dark threat to the village. It is such a familiar fixture on our idiot boxes that it seems natural that the catchy Sherman Brothers tunes would eventually make its way to...
Dianne Pilkington flies into Leeds Grand with Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Interviews

Dianne Pilkington flies into Leeds Grand with Bedknobs and Broomsticks

When families settle down for a festive film one of the perineal favourites is BedKnobs and Broomsticks starring musical legends Angela Lansbury and David Tomlinson. It’s a magical and often surreal tale of a trainee witch Eglantine Price who takes under her wing three orphans evacuated from the London blitz who fly an enchanted bed in a quest to find a spell helped by a dodgy professor of magic. The movie features some memorable songs from the pen of the Sherman Brothers and its cutting-edge animation combined with live action won the Disney team an Oscar for best Special Effects. Now it has been turned into a stage show with some new songs that comes to Leeds Grand from December 8th and plays into the new year. Dianne Pilkington plays the trainee witch on the show’s first UK to...
Bedknobs and Broomsticks – The Alexandra, Birmingham
East Midlands

Bedknobs and Broomsticks – The Alexandra, Birmingham

What a lot of scenery! If you like scenery this is the show for you! Acres it, yards of it flash by one after another - flat trees, flat doors, flat clouds, flat waves all causing this reviewer to wonder how they manage to store it all in the wings rather than consider the show. There really was a lot it… “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” is almost a Disney classic or if you work for Disney it’s a classic. It’s one step below “Mary Poppins” but quite a number of steps above “The Fox and the Hound” adapted from the novels by Mary Norton (who despite having invented the whole thing doesn’t seem warrant a credit in the programme…) and, of course, from the movie with Angela Lansbury. And like all good movies it moves and this stage adaptation from Michael Harrison attempts to move with the same v...
Bedknobs and Broomsticks – Sheffield Lyceum
Yorkshire & Humber

Bedknobs and Broomsticks – Sheffield Lyceum

First, we had the spectacles that are The Phantom of the Opera, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Mary Poppins and now there is a new contender to the crown with more magical illusions than you can shake a magic wand at! From the very opening sequence we are inundated with illusion and magic from Illusion Designer Jamie Harrison and it doesn’t let up for one moment. The children in the audience gasp and the technically minded amongst us try to work out how it was done. From flying broomsticks to beds, magical moving clothing to magical magician’s tricks. Then there is Kenneth MacLeod’s puppets of mighty lions to neon fish and rabbits to ostriches, this production is nonstop wonderment with a sense of humour and more than a dash of panache! The 1971 Disney film classic staring Angel...
Bedknobs and Broomsticks – Palace Theatre
North West

Bedknobs and Broomsticks – Palace Theatre

Bedknobs and Broomsticks arrives in Manchester this week, the first of a trilogy of Disney productions to play at the Palace Theatre with Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King arriving in the next 12 months. Tonight’s show was truly a lesson in visual artistry with scene after scene making you question if your eyes really saw that? Countless illusions including a flying bed and fully functioning broomstick take centre stage alongside glorious puppets all illuminated by a stunning lighting design all knitted together with slick direction from Candice Edmunds. The shows website says “When the three orphaned Rawlins children are reluctantly evacuated from wartime London to live with the mysterious Eglantine Price, they have no idea what adventures lie ahead. Upon discovering Eglantine...
The Three Musketeers – attempted by FoolHardy
NEWS

The Three Musketeers – attempted by FoolHardy

This classic swashbuckling tale is brought to life in a mix of audio play and animation. Add to that a sprinkling of “behind the scenes” moments as the company present their production “Live” online. It is guaranteed to raise a smile. Alongside the main tale there is a sub story of a small theatre company putting on the audio play. This makes room for some of the comedy as the script writing by David Du Lesley (played by Anthony Eden) gives rise to issues from the cast and guest Narrator Robert Lindsey has plenty to say to the hapless Director/Writer/Actor David. There are also humorous topical references relating to online meetings. These fleeting nods are eased in beautifully without referring to the “current situation”.  Although the animation is billed as optional, it adds ...
Thespie presents: Unlimited – The Songs Of Stephen Schwartz
REVIEWS

Thespie presents: Unlimited – The Songs Of Stephen Schwartz

It’s a sad fact that theatre is suffering greatly during these strange days so it is always welcoming when companies like Thespie can produce live performance streaming of such calibre. Stephen Schwartz is probably one of the most underrated of musical theatre talents and certainly (in my opinion) up there with the Lloyd Webbers and Sondheim’s of this world. From the sublime “Pippin” to the dazzling “Wicked” his music and lyrics positively shine through and it’s to Thespie’s credit that they have produced a superlative showcase of his songs featuring nine excellent West End performers – Nikki Bentley, Sophie Evans, Alice Fearn, Alexia Khadime, Melanie La Barrie, Carl Man, Dianne Pilkington, Liam Tamne and Oliver Tompsett. The concert starts with the wonderful “Magic To Do” from “...