SHE'S the original muggle.

Mildred Hubble of The Worst Witch, beloved books of my childhood well before JK Rowling ever dreamed up a certain boy wizard, is brought from the page to the stage.

There are certainly touches of the Harry Potter here.

Our heroine is an ordinary girl who occasionally encounters the extraordinary in her every day life. She plans on going to a regular school but is accidentally and rather spectacularly transported to Miss Cackle's Academy, where young witches go to learn their craft.

Before she knows what's happening, she's casting spells, brewing potions, riding broomsticks and tending to a rather noisy pet cat.

A mix up that sees the class bully, a girl who considers herself superior because of her family's witching pedigree, trick her best friend into believing she has cast a spell on her broom, causes Mildred to run away, breaking the school's protective barrier and letting in the headteacher's nemesis to attempt an evil takeover.

But that's where the Hogwarts similarities end.

The storyline is silly, bordering on the ridiculous, as the play continues. It takes on a pantomime quality in the second act, much to the delight of the hordes of dressed up little girls enjoying a late night to see the show.

But there is plenty to love about The Worst Witch. These are sassy girls with stunning voices belting out a number of catchy rock numbers.

We enjoyed audience participation, acrobatics and plenty of clever tricks.

There are several stand out performances from the ten strong cast, most notably from Polly Lister who manages to pull off playing sweet Miss Cackle and her evil twin Agatha, at the same time on one occasion.

It's no Harry Potter. But it's still magic.


The Worst Witch is at Mayflower Theatre until Sunday