DISNEY'S classic movie Bedknobs and Broomsticks makes its world premiere as an exciting new stage musical, visiting Southampton next week.

With the original songs by the legendary Sherman Brothers (Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ), including Portobello Road, The Age Of Not Believing and The Beautiful Briny, Bedknobs and Broomsticks will be brought to life by award-winning theatre-makers Candice Edmunds and Jamie Harrison.

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When the three orphaned Rawlins children are reluctantly evacuated from wartime London to live with the mysterious Eglantine Price, they have no idea what adventures lie ahead. Upon discovering Eglantine to be a trainee witch, they join forces to search for a secret spell that will defeat the enemy once and for all. Armed with an enchanted bedknob, a bewitched broomstick and a magical flying bed, they encounter surprising new friendships on their journey from Portobello Road to the depths of the beautiful briny sea.

Dianne Pilkington, who stars as Miss Eglantine Price, told the Daily Echo: "It is fun, it is full of magic and it takes you on a different journey from the adventure we've been on for the last year and a half. It is what the world needs right now."

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The show, which opens at Mayflower Theatre on Tuesday, is the first ever stage adaptation of the 1971 Disney favourite. Pilkington says the production is every bit as ground-breaking as the movie, with its famous blend of live action, animation and musical numbers.

"The film was doing something new and innovative, and so are we," says the West End star, whose roles include Glinda in Wicked and Donna in Mamma Mia! "It is faithful to what people love about Bedknobs and Broomsticks but this creative team never make the obvious choice. They have an amazing creative brain."

Bedknobs and Broomsticks runs until Saturday January 16. Tickets from mayflower.org.uk or 023 8071 1811.

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