Reviewed by Gemma Ingham
Before Harry Potter, there was Mildred Hubble, one of the best (and yet worst) witches around. Many of us will have grown up reading The Worst Witch books by Jill Murphy and laughed at the antics of Mildred whilst attending Miss Cackle’s academy for witches. The successful series of books has been adapted into a film and a TV series by the BBC, and now a stage production. I was lucky enough to be invited to see the stage version of The Worst Witch at the Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield. This theatre is great, easy to get to as it’s near all major roads and public transport links in the heart of Sheffield city centre.
I took my 6 year old daughter who was entranced by the antics on stage. The play starts with us seeing Mildred accidentally attending Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches. She is an outsider to the world of witches and has to find her place along with the help of the other students, whilst also helping to foil a plan by Miss Cackle’s evil twin sister to take over the school. I loved the overall message of friendship, and that you can belong anywhere.
Every single cast member was engaging, full of energy and exceptional at multi-tasking. It was performed by an all singing, all dancing, instrument playing, hand-puppet controlling, broomstick flying talented cast. I particularly liked Polly Lister who plays Miss Cackle and her evil twin sister Agatha due to her rip-roaring performance. Danielle Bird as Mildred and Rebecca Killick as Maud performed some surprising broomstick gymnastics that had my daughter on the edge of her seat, and Rosie Abraham portrayed an unlikeable Ethel extremely well.
The set was dynamic and although simple it was incredibly effective at setting the scene down to the smallest details, and my daughter enjoyed the audience participation towards the end.
Tickets cost from £15.50 (booking fees may apply).
The Worst Witch is at the Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield from 29 January to 2 February 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk or call the box office on 0114 249 6000.
Lyceum Theatre, Norfolk St, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S1 1DA | 0114 249 6000