Thursday, 7 March 2019

The Worst Witch Live Review - Mayflower Southampton


Growing up, one of the books that I remember most fondly was The Worst Witch. The tale of the clumsy yet loveable young witch as she navigates her way through Miss Cackles School for Witches. From there, a TV series captured my imagination too, spending afternoons racing home from school so I never missed an episode. As an adult, I can be fairly nostalgic about the things I read when I was a child, so hearing that The Worst Witch had been turned into a show made me more excited than I would possibly admit! Fortunately it was flying to The Mayflower in Southampton and Max and I took to our brooks (well the car) to see it for ourselves. 

The WOrst Witch Live



Based on the well-loved book series and subsequent TV series, The Worst Witch Live follows the story of the beloved characters as they put on a school play for the audience. The play within a play shows the audience both the back story and the present day of the young witches’ journeys at the school. Of course with shows filled with magic like this, nothing is quite as it seems and you are taken on a whirlwind adventure with broomsticks, evil twins and potions gone wrong that will warm even the coldest of hearts.

Set in the school with simple staging to accommodate the cast and the band (all the music was played by the cast themselves), it was highly effective and felt like it was magically transforming in front of us as one scene moved into another. Throw in some aerial work, magic tricks and some stand out cat puppets and you are onto a winner of a show that kept amused, excited and left everyone feeling thoroughly entertained.

The Worst Witch Live

For me, the story was one that kept me hooked and had enough twists and turns to delight adults as well as children. Whilst Max found a few of the jumps from the play to reality a bit confusing, he was enthralled throughout the whole show and was literally sat on the edge of his seat at times. During a broomstick flying scene where the cast performed aerial stunts Max was sat transfixed by what was happening on stage, hoping and willing that the cast would be okay and wouldn’t get hurt. 

Stepping into well-known characters like the ones from The Worst Witch can seem daunting. But done right, it can really make a show come alive completely and that is exactly what they have achieved with this show. Danielle Bird did an amazing job in the role of Mildred Hubble, the young girl dubbed the worst witch by some of her peers for her clumsy yet caring nature. She really embodied all that everyone knows of the character of Mildred and she did a brilliant job at wowing the audiences and keeping them hooked throughout the show. Similarly with Rebecca Killick as Maude, Mildred’s best friend, and Rosie Abraham as Ethel, the prim and proper student that is always so perfectly right yet will do anything to be the top of the class. 

Polly Lister stands out as the actress that truly stole the show with her brilliant portrayal as both Miss Cackle and Agatha, Miss Cackle’s evil twin. From arguing with herself to showing a literal divide between the characters throughout her solo song. I honestly have to say that she captured everyone’s hearts and imaginations with her fantastic performance. 

The Worst Witch Live

The show had a fantastic way of breaking away from itself when things were getting either a bit dark or a bit intense. From breaking the fourth wall and talking to the audience, to running around the theatre to get everyone involved in the antics. Whether they were scaring us, making us laugh or just telling us that it was time for the interval, the show had a real way of making things both special for the audience and making the little ones feel like they were truly involved with the play. 

We had an absolutely amazing time watching The Worst Witch Live. It was a show that had us on the edge of our seats, had us cheering, booking and begging for more. It’s a fantastic show for little witches and wizards that are both new to the series and long term fans of the show. It’s a must see and the perfect show to introduce kids to the theatre with. We had such a great evening and can’t wait for our next Worst Witch fix!

The Worst Witch live is on at the Mayflower in Southampton until the 10th March and then continues on a tour of the uk. For all other dates head to The Worst Witch Live

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