It would be just delightful to review Room On The Broom solely in rhyme. Unfortunately, dear readers, I just haven’t the time. But theatre lovers fear not, head down to the Lyric theatre this Christmas for a truly colourful lot; a playful treat with plenty of riddles better than mine, with new friends to meet and witches for dragons to joyfully eat.
Ahem. I apologise for my poor poetry attempt, but it’s hard to resist after you’ve spent an hour in the company of the characters from Julia Donaldson’s hugely successful picture book, so easy do they make the story’s playful tuneful tale seem. But in this stage adaptation by Tall Stories, the company behind previous hit The Gruffalo, takes the story further than its rhyming bones, adding in plenty of silliness, jokes and a catchy set of songs you’ll be singing all the way home.
No doubt the characters need little introduction. There’s the witch, more clumsy than spooky, her cat, who’s secretly possibly a bit better at magic than her owner will admit, a jumpy dog who wants to stop howling at the moon and visit it instead, a bird desperate to join her friends on holiday and a frog that needs to escape a princess looking for her prince.
One by one each jumps on the broom, but the question remains, is there actually room on the broom for such a hyperactive dog, a noisy frog who likes singing country songs, a headstrong bird and a possessive cat who was more happy when it was just her and the witch, even if this particular magic lady does make flying look kamikaze and can’t do spells to save her life? That’s not even taking into account the dragon that is sick of kids on sticks for dinner and fancies a witch to go with his chips instead.
The company of four ensure that every second is entertaining, playful and exciting. Morag Cross leads the show as the clutzy witch who defies spooky stereotypes to become rather more of a bossy bumbling headmistress type with a penchant for peppermints, while an orange, stripey Emma MacLennan is suitably feline as the cat, purring and curling up to her witchy owner and hissing at the newcomers.
While Cross and MacLennan fly – no pun intended – solo, fellow cast members David Garrud and Sam Donovan create the roles of the dog, frog and bird with the cutest and most colourful of puppets who bound around stage and belt out their songs with gusto, much to the glee of the children in the audience and many of the adults too, no doubt.
Suitable for children ages three plus, I wouldn’t let this age guidance put you off taking your older children as well. Perhaps it was just the big kid in me, but I would happily have joined the motley crew on their broom as they whooshed and glided through the show and it never said anything about being recommended for 27 year olds…