Thursday, 21 July 2016

FOUR STAR REVIEW Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

It’s nearly 50 years since the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang captured people’s hearts and imaginations.
Now, Ian Fleming’s classic story is being brought to audiences once more, this time in a  theatre production which is currently on a nationwide tour. 
It is having a pit stop at New Wimbledon Theatre and despite the almost suffocating heat in this beautiful venue it is a glorious production.
It stars Lee Mead as Caractacus Potts, the inventor and devoted single dad to two children, Jeremy and Jemima.
One day the children are playing the in yard of the Junkman, racing in a now broken down and dilapidated car which was once a famous racing car.
Desperate to buy the car they urge their father to raise the 30 shillings it costs to take it off the Junkman’s hands.
Despite a failed attempt to invent a sweet to tempt Truly Scrumptious’s father Lord Scrumptious, a visit to the fairground provides just the luck Caractacus needs.
With the 30 shillings in his pocket, he buys the car and transforms it into Chitty. 
But their happiness is short lived as on a visit to the seaside the children’s grandfather is abducted by spies from Vulgaria.
It is up to Caractacus junior, Truly, the children and of course Chitty to save the day.
It is a quite fantastic production - visually stunning and full of the songs made famous in the film, a really creepy and evil child catcher and hilarious turns by the two spies, played by Scott Paige and Sam Harrison.
There are also plenty of laughs and some really poignant moment including Caractacus singing Hushabye Mountain to help his children sleep.
And there is plenty of stage magic too when it comes to the car.
The cast is superb in particular Shaun Williamson as the Baron and Michelle Collins as his child hating wife.
But the undoubted stars of the show are Carrie Hope Fletcher as the delightful Truly with whom Caractacus finds love, the children, played by Henry Kent and Lucy Sherman and Lee Mead as Caractacus - who shows that not only has he a stunning voice but he can dance too. 
It is a real heart warmer of a show, perfect for all the family and guaranteed to melt your heart.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is on at the New Wimbledon Theatre until Saturday, July 30. Tickets from £20.40. Visit or call the box office on 0844 871 7646.

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