Mildred Hubble flew onto the stage at the Birmingham Hippodrome last night for the opening performance of The Worst Witch. As a child, I loved The Worst Witch stories by Jill Murphy, and I would watch the movie over and over. I couldn’t wait to see how the story was brought to life on stage and introduce Mini to the tales too.
The Worst Witch portrays the story of Mildred Hubble, a normal girl who finds herself mistakenly at Miss Cackle’s Academy for witches. Accident prone Mildred stumbles her way through term, making firm friendships along the way with fellow classmates, Maud and Enid. However, not all witches at Miss Cackle’s develop an affinity for Mildred. Ethel Hallow, a talented yet snooty young witch makes it her mission to get rid of Mildred and keep the school for pure born witches.
At its’ heart, the story of The Worst Witch is about finding where you belong and having the confidence to be yourself, and sticking it to the bullies who try to stop you. However, these are lessons that Mildred has to learn, along with the potions class and broomstick flying. When the school is under threat by Agatha, Miss Cackle’s evil twin, it is Mildred that manages to bring her friends together to save the day. She shows that being brave, working together and standing up for what is right are the key ingredients to making a brilliant witch.
The stage performance, adapted by Emma Reeves stays true to the original story with a modern twist. The show features an on stage rock band, gymnastic tricks and a splash of glitz and sparkle. The set design was simple yet very effective, with lots of magical stunts thrown in.
Danielle Bird gave a perfect performance of Mildred, stumbling across stage whilst enchanting the audience with her endearing character. However, the performance of the evening, in my opinion, goes to Polly Lister, playing Miss Cackle and Agatha. She really came into her own during the second half, playing both characters on stage at the same time. She managed to portray the loveable, kind hearted Miss Cackle at the same time as being the perfect, kick ass theatre villain.
Mini and I had a magical evening at The Worst Witch, it was lovely for me to share one of my childhood favourite tales with her. She now can’t wait to get stuck into reading the books too.
The Worst Witch runs at Birmingham Hippodrome until 26th May. Further information and tickets can be booked here.
All production images are owned by Birmingham Hippodrome, with credit to Manuel Harlan.
Disclaimer: We were invited to the performance of The Worst Witch for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions are entirely my own.