Worst Witch gets world première in Northampton

Published: 24 November 2018

The world première of The Worst Witch, Emma Reeves’s original story based on Jill Murphy’s series of novels, is to open at Royal and Derngate as part of the theatre’s Made in Northampton season.

The Worst Witch is the story of “an ordinary girl who finds herself in an extraordinary place: a school for witches”. Accident-prone Mildred Hubble and her fellow pupils are about to embark on their biggest adventure yet. They leave a trail of mayhem behind them as they find themselves at the centre of a battle that could threaten the whole world.

Danielle Bird plays the hapless Mildred Hubble. She was Drudge in Phillip Breen’s The Hypocrite, a Royal Shakespeare Company and Hull Truck presentation in the Swan Theatre, Stratford in 2017, and also appeared in Macbeth at Shakespeare’s Globe in 2016.

Polly Lister takes the roles of Agatha and Miss Cackle. She played Michelle, Mother Superior, Barbara and Veronique in Tanya Ronder’s Table at the New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme earlier in 2018 and Miss Havisham in Neil Bartlett’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations at Derby Theatre in 2017.

The cast also includes Rachel Heaton, Rebecca Killick, Rosie Abraham, Anna Crichlow, Molly-Grace Cutler, Megan Leigh, Emma Lau and Meg Forgan.

Theresa Heskins, artistic director of the New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme, directs. Her production of The Snow Queen won the 2017 UK Theatre Award for best show for children and young people.

Design is by Simon Daw. Lighting designer is Aideen Malone and sound design is by Leigh Davies. Vicki Amedume leads on aerial direction, Beverley Norris-Edmunds choreographs, music is by Luke Potter and magician John Bulleid creates illusions for the show.

The Worst Witch runs at Royal and Derngate from Tuesday 27 November until Sunday 30 December. It will go on a national tour in 2019.

Meanwhile, in the Underground Studio, Polka Theatre and Little Angel Theatre stage Peter Glanville and Julian Butler’s adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb’s The Everywhere Bear from Thursday 29 November until Sunday 6 January.

Steve Orme