First Official Disney Stage Performance in NI – Bedknobs and Broomsticks – Flies Into The Grand Opera House

The world premiere of Disney’s stage musical Bedknobs and Broomsticks is coming to Belfast’s Grand Opera House as part its inaugural UK and Ireland tour. This is the first official Disney-endorsed musical to be staged in Northern Ireland and the production coincides with the 50th anniversary of the classic Disney movie which starred Angela Lansbury and David Tomlinson.

Having already received rave reviews for its magical performances, imaginative storytelling techniques and high production values, the Michael Harrison production features the original songs from the 1971 Disney film classic by the legendary Sherman Brothers (Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)including Portobello Road, The Age Of Not Believing and The Beautiful Briny. It also features new music and lyrics by Neil Bartram and is brought to life by award-winning theatre-makers Candice Edmunds and Jamie Harrison.

Set during World War II, the musical tells the story of the three orphaned Rawlins children who are reluctantly evacuated from wartime London to live with the mysterious Eglantine Price. Upon discovering Eglantine to be a trainee witch, they join forces to search for a secret spell that will defeat the enemy once and for all. Armed with an enchanted bedknob, a bewitched broomstick and a magical flying bed, they encounter surprising new friendships on their journey from Portobello Road to the depths of the beautiful briny sea.

Dianne Pilkington, whose West End credits include Les Misérables, WickedMamma Mia! and Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein, stars as Eglantine Price, with Charles Brunton playing the role of Emelius Browne. Charles starred in the iconic role of Miss Trunchbull in Matilda both in the West End and on Broadway. Other credits include Love Never DiesChess and Scrooge.

Pilkington says the production is every bit as ground-breaking as the movie, with its famous blend of live action, animation and musical numbers. “The film was doing something new and innovative, and so are we,” says the West End star. “It is faithful to what people love about Bedknobs and Broomsticks but this creative team never make the obvious choice. They have an amazing creative brain.”

Welcoming the Disney Musical to the Grand Opera House, Ian Wilson, Chief Executive said; “The Grand Opera House is renowned for large-scale family entertainment and we are delighted to have secured the first official Disney musical to be staged in Northern Ireland.”

“The show is created by the Olivier award-winning West End producer, Michael Harrison, who also produces the Grand Opera House’s record-breaking pantomimes, including Goldilocks and the Three Bears, so outstanding family entertainment is at the heart of Bedknobs and Broomsticks.”

“This production is theatre at its best and I am sure audiences will thoroughly enjoy it.”

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