You may naively think that the flying car, undoubtedly a masterful feature of stage engineering, would be the star attraction of Adrian Noble’s production, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. In fact, the biggest rounds of applause came for the ten live dogs that were seemingly pushed onto the stage at random intervals. I myself never having been a ‘dog-person’ couldn’t quite understand the gasps of delight that this invoked from our pre-pubescent and octogenarian audience. Yet there was still plenty to enjoy within the production, particularly seeing the Sherman brothers’ musical numbers transferred from the screen so aptly.
Choreographer David Morgan excelled himself in Me Ol’ Bamboo, which saw the all male group of dancers seemingly defy gravity, while clutching at their wooden canes. It also provided a vital opening for Darren Bennett (Caractacus Potts) to demonstrate his talents, while escaping his insufferable onstage offspring. There’s always been something that’s made my flesh crawl about ‘show-kids,’ and I was almost counting down the minutes until the Child Catcher arrived. For such an iconic figure within the franchise, Dean Maynard didn’t really have the chance to do justice to the role, appearing for a total of 5 minutes in some very risqué velvet leggings, before being crushed by the forces of good. This aside, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is certainly worth a visit especially if you are a fan of the original film or have little ones to entertain.