2021 UK and Ireland tour
Bedknobs and Broomsticks the Musical - Synopsis
During the 1940 London Blitz, Charlie, Carrie, and Paul Rawlins are caught in an explosion that destroys their home and kills their parents, so they are evacuated to the small village of Pepperinge Eye ("Prologue"). In the museum, as they wait for Miss Eglantine Price, who they are to be placed in the care of, Charlie declares himself as the head of the family now ("Nobody's Problems"), and the children speculate what Miss Price will be like ("Miss Price, I Believe"). Suddenly, a plane flies overhead and the children duck for cover.
Miss Eglantine Price arrives to pick up a broom shaped package, and reluctantly takes the children in. When they arrive at her house, the children pretend to sleep, planning on running away later. Miss Price opens up the package and it is indeed a broomstick, which she uses to practice flying ("A Step in the Right Direction"). During this, the children spot her from the window.
The next morning, the children attempt to blackmail her in return of their silence ("Negotiality"), but Miss Price turns Charlie into a rabbit ("Filigree, Apogee, Pedigree, Perigee"). Miss Price then receives a letter and it is from her teacher, Emelius Browne. He has written to Miss Price to tell her that the school she had been learning from has been closed down due to the war, and because of that she will not be receiving a lesson which she was very anxious to receive.
Miss Price then explains to the children that, having seen men sent out during the First World War, some of whom never came back, she took up magic as a means to help the war effort, intending to learn the Substitutiary Locomotion spell, so inanimate objects can be deployed instead of people. Time is urgent too, as one of the first spells she received was a divination spell, where she saw the looming shadows of the German army (referred to in the show as "The Enemy") invading during the next blood moon.
Miss Price enchants a bedknob that only Paul can use, which will allow them to use to bed to travel to London. Charlie is reluctant to go, but when Paul tries the spell, it doesn't work ("Bedknob Spell"). Miss Price explains that the magic needs faith to work too, and realizes Charlie is at "The Age of Not Believing". After some words from her, Charlie agrees to come ("Bedknob Spell (Reprise 1)").
They soon arrive in London, there they meet Professor Emelius Browne ("Emelius The Great"), who they learn is a con-artist and who created the Correspondence College of Witchcraft using what he believed were nonsense passages in an old book about a wizard named Astoroth. He is surprised to learn that the spells actually work for Miss Price ("Filigree, Apogee, Pedigree, Perigee (Reprise)").
Miss Price asks to see the book, and Professor Browne takes them to his flat ("Bedknob Spell (Reprise 2)"), where he makes a proposition for her to be his magical assistant as they search for the Spell book ("Eglantine"). They soon find the book, but it is actually torn in half, thus explaining why he closed the school before sending out the final spell. He tells her that he bought it from the bookseller at a street market but because he only paid half of what was asked for, he only got half the book. Miss Price, Professor Browne, and the children travel to Portobello Road to search its many stalls and carts of old books ("Bedknob Spell (Reprise 3)" & "Portobello Road").
After their search, they find a book seller who possess the other half of the book. He exchanges it in return for Paul's first edition copy of "The Island of Nopeepo". Unfortunately, the completed text only says the spell is inscribed on a medallion known as the Star of Astoroth. Paul remembers that the Star of Astoroth appears in the "The Island of Nopeepo" book, being worn around the King's neck, and they offer to trade again with the Book Seller, in exchange for the completed spellbook. Professor Browne is reluctant to give away the spell book, but agrees once he learns that Miss Price has copied all the spells into her notebook, and so trades the notebook for the spell book, which in turn is traded for "The Island of Nopeepo" ("Negotiality (Reprise 1)"). Miss Price reads the book, but can't make out the inscription in the illustration, so the group choose to go to the Island personally. However, before they set off, an air raid begins, and in their hurry to escape before the bombs drop, they rush the spell and the bed crashes into Nopeepo lagoon. ("Bedknob Spell (Reprise 4)")
As they go underneath the Beautiful Briny Sea, the group encounter talking fish who invite them to a dance contest at the Briny Ballroom. Miss Price is reluctant at first, but soon agrees when she learns that the winner gets an audience with the King ("Nopeepo Lagoon" & "The Beautiful Briny"). Despite Miss Price & Professor Browne dancing together, they still lose the contest. The winners, however, forfeit when Paul's book reveals that all the fish who do win an audience with the King wind up becoming his dinner! The party are fished up by a bear called Sherman ("Fish, Fish"), who is not happy to see them since no people are meant to be on the island by order of King Leonidas. However, the party successfully argues that, as winners of the contest, they get to see the King ("Negotiality (Reprise 2)"). King Leonidas snarls at the party, and gives a speech to the island's inhabitants about how he plans to devour the "undesirables" to preserve the island's "purity"; however, before he can, Professor Browne & Miss Price perform a magic show in order to distract King Leonidas long enough that they can switch the Star of Astoroth for a feather boa, before quickly making their escape on the bed ("Emelius and Eglantine").
When they arrive home, Miss Price asks Professor Browne for his shoes so she can test the spell on them. The children explain to Professor Browne why Miss Price wants to learn the spell, with Miss Price adding that her own father was among the men who never returned from the First World War, with her being the same age as Charlie when it happened. Professor Browne agrees and together, they are able to get the Substitutiary Locomotion spell working on the clothes about the house ("Substitutiary Locomotion"). Mrs. Hobday then arrives to tell Miss Price that she found someone else to take care of the children. Miss Price tells her that things have changed: she has grown fond of the children, and the children say that they have Professor Browne too. However, Professor Browne says he is going to return to London, worried that he'll let Miss Price down. He says goodbye to Miss Price and the children. After the children go to bed, Miss Price cleans up and while she does, they all sing about how they prefer to be alone ("Nobody's Problems (Quintet)").
That night, the children spot the looming shadow of the Enemy forces approaching, and in much larger numbers than Miss Price has anticipated. They flee to the museum and warn Mrs. Hobday about the invasion, who in turn warns Professor Browne, who was waiting overnight at the station for the first train to London. He realizes that Miss Price and the children are in danger, and rushes to the museum, using a spell from Miss Price's notebook to turn himself into a rabbit to sneak past the enemy ("It's Now").
After Professor Browne joins the others in the museum, with Carrie reverting him to human form, they attempt to use Substitutiary Locomotion to animate the museum pieces. It does not work at first, as they realize Miss Price's own faith is faltering, but Charlie offers her words of encouragement ("The Age of Not Believing (Reprise)"), which allows her to cast the spell ("Onward").
The museum pieces are able to fight off the enemy, but Miss Price, Professor Browne and the children are soon cornered. The enemy points their weapons towards them, but just as they are about to fire, Charlie screams out that they're not real. Everything stops. It turns out that everything that has happened was all a figment of the children's imagination, as a way to cope with the trauma of losing their parents. The Enemy, the Star of Astoroth, the Bedknob, even Professor Browne, and eventually Miss Price all vanish.
The children all wake up in the museum, just after they had ducked for cover from the plane flying overhead. Suddenly, the real Emelius Browne arrives, who in reality runs a novelty store in London, which had also just been bombed in the blitz, with Miss Price as a regular customer and pen pal of his. As he goes into the office to try and phone her, the real Eglantine Price arrives to pick up the children, and a broom shaped package, but misses Emelius Browne. Fortunately, Paul deliberately leaves his "Island of Nopeepo" book behind, giving them an excuse to go back, allowing Miss Price and Mister Browne a chance to meet in person. Together, the five ride off for home on Miss Price's motorcycle ("Epilogue").
Read more: Bedknobs and Broomsticks the Musical Lyrics
Synopsis to Bedknobs and Broomsticks Plot