Room on the Broom 

Room on the Broom 
Adapted by Canberra Theatre Centre and CDP With Tall Stories from the picture book by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler. CDP With Tall Stories. Canberra Theatre, 1–3 October 2020.

Originally a children’s picture book, Room on the Broom has enjoyed enormous success also as an animated film and a stage production.


It is a simple story of a kind-hearted, but not very clever, witch (Clare Ellen O’Connor), flying on her broom, with her cat (Petronella Van Tienen), hunting a dragon (Stephen Anderson).  Along the way, they encounter a dog and a frog (both Nat Jobe) and a bird (also Stephen Anderson), all seeking to ride the broom.  Over the cat’s objections, the witch finds room on the broom for everyone as she pursues her quest.


With an engaging set, delicate and moody lighting, and a very enthusiastic cast, which didn’t miss a beat, this production of Room on the Broom is a delight.  There is plenty of action from the first moment; simple, repetitive actions that very young children can copy; and easy songs that they can learn.  The costumes are colourful and appealing; and sound effects, such as the whoosh of wind, easy to identify.


This production is ideal for children over three who are able to remain engaged for an hour.  Toddlers and children feeling restless or with sensitive hearing are not the ideal audience, as many at the session I attended attested to; but those able to engage with it joined in wholeheartedly.


Michele E. Hawkins


Room on the Broom.  Photographer: John P. Harvey.

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