Bedknobs and Broomsticks is the next film-to-stage adaptation from Disney, and the cast has finally been revealed. The musical will be based on the 1971 film of the same name, which starred Dame Angela Lansbury as Miss Eglantine Price, a witch in training who has to take in three young children fleeing the Blitz of World War II. Using her magic, she enchants a bed knob, giving it the ability to travel across the world.
The film was a hit upon its release and was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning Best Special Visual Effects. The film was even restored in 1996, with many deleted scenes reinserted. It also holds a special place in many British hearts for featuring a cameo from the beloved late Sir Bruce Forsyth, who played Swinburne, a petty criminal that Miss Price and the children encounter when they visit London.
The stage version has been in development for quite some time now, and the cast has finally been revealed ahead of its August premiere in Newcastle.
Esteemed British actress Dianne Pilkington will take on the witch-in-training herself, Miss Price. Pilkington has had a long career in theatre with many starring roles, including Fantine in Les Misérables and Glinda the Good in Wicked. This won’t be Pilkington’s first Disney rodeo because she was even Belle in the 2002-2003 UK tour of Beauty and the Beast.
Joining Pilkington will be Charles Brunton as Professor Emelius Browne, the Headmaster of the Emelius Browne Correspondence College of Witchcraft. Brunton is no stranger to the stage, having made his debut at the age of 9 in Nine. He has also appeared in Oliver!, The Rocky Horror Show as the loony Frank N Furter, and even starred opposite Dianne Pilkington in the UK Tour of Beauty and the Beast where he played Lumière and Monsieur D’Arque.
Jacqui DuBois will be playing Miss Holiday. British theatregoers may recognise DuBois has had a storeyed career in theatre starring in many roles including Ghost, Fella! on Broadway and in the UK, Disney’s The Lion King, and she even originated the role of Joanne in the West End’s version of Rent in 1998.
Miss Holiday is either a new character created for the musical or a renamed Mrs Hobday, the postmaster and head military, a military official of the village where Miss Price lives.
The Rawling children will be played by Dexter Barry, Izabella Bucknell, Haydn Court, Poppy Houghton, Evie Lightman and Aidan Oti. The cast will be rounded out by Mark Anderson, Jessica Aubrey, Georgie Buckland, Kayla Carter, Jonathan Cobb, Matthew Elliot-Campbell, Sam Lupton, Rob Madge, Vinnie Monachello, Nathaniel Morrison, Sadie-Jean Shirley, Robin Simoes Da Silva, Emma Thornett and Susannah Van Den Berg.
Source: The Daily Mail