Bedknobs and Broomsticks UK Tour Review & Tips

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Bedknobs and Broomsticks is flying into the North East over Easter 2022 with a stint at Sunderland Empire. Tickets are available for dates from now until 24 April from £13 plus fees. Find out more and book here. 

Produced by Michael Harris by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions, the quality is of the highest standard. 

If you aren't familiar with the plot, Bedknobs and Broomsticks takes us back to the Blitz where three children in London sadly lose their parents to the bombings and are packed off to the relative safety of countryside where they soon discover they are living with an apprentice witch. 

A real adventure unfolds as Miss Price and the children search for a hidden spell which they will hopefully use to end the war with no loss of human life. 

The age guidance for the show is age 6+ which I would say is fair. It's a fairly long production (2 hours 40 minutes inc interval is the stated timing but it was around 2 hours 50 minutes for us) and there are a lot of songs. If your children aren't fans of musicals, they may get a little restless. Children under 3 will not be admitted. 

However if you are a musical fan, you will absolutely get swept along with the magic of this production. 

There were plenty of 'How did they do that?' moments and there were audible gasps from the wide eyed audience as we watched broomsticks and enchanted beds fly through the air, inanimate objects come to life before our eyes and clever staging that raised lots of smiles. 

My favourite scene was at Portabello Road market. A real ensemble effort, fast paced and everything a musical should be. Singing, dancing, moving props and a rousing chorus. 

I almost wanted to stand up and join in. This scene was a real joy and I felt utterly swept away with it all. For a second, I too was wandering the market streets of London and trying to find my own treasure. 

There are plenty of cute and funny moments which will be enjoyed by children and grown ups alike. We particularly warmed to the animals in and around Nopeepo Island which were presented in the form of puppets. 

With perfect comic timing, larger than life manerisms and the most expressive faces, they were really endearing. I have to say, I had a real soft spot for the fishing bear. 

I have to give a special mention to the live Orchestra who not only provide brilliant music throughout the evening but also really showcase the diverse range of sound effects instruments can produce. They really added to the entertainment as did the fabulous staging and props. 

Several scenes were cleverly done including walking upstairs, looking out of windows and travelling along on a train. 

They may have been fairly simple techniques but these scenes just seemed effortless and were beautifully executed. 

The lighting too was brilliant and transported us from under the sea to a tropical island and from out in the cold to inside a warm and toasty house in a matter of seconds. 

The cast of course are brilliant. Beautiful singing voices and word perfect throughout. Special mention to the young actors who performed wonderfully. You can expect lots of real star quality on stage. 

For me, it felt like a real Easter treat and we were transported to a whole new world for a good couple of hours. Bedknobs and Broomsticks really does deliver on escapism. I watched the Disney film a lot when I was younger and it was a real trip down memory lane for me. I loved it. 

Steve and the kids had not watched the film before. They really enjoyed a lot of elements including the flying objects, battle scenes near the end, the puppetry and opening scenes with all of the set changes.

We had just been to Eden Camp that day and they appreciated the WWII elements to the storyline too. 

They weren't keen on the ending though and said it was just too cheesy for them and they thought the second half was two songs too long. That's just their opinion though and I think if they had watched the film beforehand, they probably wouldn't have even mentioned this. 

I left singing and bobbing along in such a great mood. It's an uplifting show and I disagree with my kids that it's too cheesy. Sometimes we need an overly happy ending. I'm 100% going to listen to the soundtrack on Spotify tomorrow. 

Top Tips for watching Bedknobs and Broomsticks at Sunderland Empire 

  • If you're visiting with children, you can ask a steward for a booster seat 

  • If this is your children's first musical, I would prepare them and watch the film / listen to the soundtrack first so they know a little of what to expect 

  • There are some slightly upsetting scenes - the Blitz, war and parent loss are all themes throughout but are never dwelled upon 

  • We parked at St Mary's Car Park which is a large multi story car park with over 400 spaces, just across the road from Sunderland Empire and free between 3pm and midnight Mon-Fri. Postcode SR1 3AH 

  • If you are looking for pre-theatre dining, I recommend Mexico 70 across the road from Sunderland Empire 

  • Covid Passes are not required. The staff will be wearing face coverings and it is recommended you wear one when walking around the auditorium (although not compulsory) 

  • I would recommend to families with children aged 6+ who enjoy musicals or have watched (and enjoyed) the Disney film. I'd also recommend for adults without kids - it's a real trip down memory lane

  • Bring a £1 coin if you'd like to hire binoculars at your seat 

  • You can read about accessibility here 

  • Show length is 2 hours 40 minutes including interval. Our 7:30pm show started on time and we were back in the car for 10:25pm 

  • Travel by Metro for free when travelling to/from a show up to two hours before and after a permormance. Find out more here

  • You can order drinks and snacks to be delivered to your seat in the interval - look out for info at the bar 



  1. Hi thank you for writing this. Does the show contain any pyrotechnics or bangs please?

    1. There is smoke, fog and strobe lighting but I don't remember any loud bangs. There are a couple of small mini explosions when the magician is doing his tricks and pulls things out of his bag/confetti bursts out - it's more like a confetti Cannon than a big bang though.


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