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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang | New Wimbledon Theatre

Chitty flew into New Wimbledon Theatre on Tuesday evening for the next stop of its national tour. Adapted from Ian Fleming's book and the MGM film of the same title, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is the story of an old racing car left on the scrap heap, which gets a new lease of life from the eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts, and the adventures that they share. This tour is a joint venture from Crossroads Live, Mayflower Theatre & Mast Mayflower Studios and it encapsulates everything good about this show.

Obviously, the star of the show is Chitty but the cast, which are directed splendidly by Thom Southerland, combine effortlessly to bring this story to life. Adam Garcia is a real triple threat in the role of Caractacus and plays the role with love and eccentricity in equal measure. Jeremy and Jemima (the Potts children), played by Roshan Thomson and Gracie Cochrane, are absolute stars, singing beautifully and acting wonderfully opposite their adult cast members.

Liam Fox (Granda Potts) encapsulates the essence of his character with his fantasied stories of his travels and was in fine voice with his musical numbers Posh and The Roses of Success. Emily Nunn's portrayal of Truly Scrumptious is a sheer delight, she has an amazing voice and plays the role with such heart and grace. No stranger to playing the role of the villain, the incomparable Charlie Brooks plays the role of The Child Catcher, displaying enough evilness to get the audience to dislike and boo her but also enough playfulness to not totally frighten the younger members of the audience.

Comedy is a big part of this show and although every character has their moments, this element of the show is really driven by Baron Bomburst (Martin Callaghan), Baroness Bomburst (Bibi Jay) and their two henchmen Boris (Adam Stafford) and Goran (Michael Joseph). Stafford and Joseph give a comedy masterclass here through their slapstick humour, switching between accents and witty one liners which had the audience roaring with laughter. Callaghan and Jay have great chemistry and are very comedic in their roles, with highlights including their songs Chu-Chi Face and The Bombie Samba.

The choreography from Karen Bruce is stand out, with the highlight being a breathless version of the classic Me Ol' Bamboo, which is executed perfectly and certainly had the audience clapping and stomping along. This has to be one of the best sound and lightning designs touring right now, courtesy of Ben Cracknell and Gareth Tucker. The sound was so clear and the orchestra, conducted by Jessica Viner, sounded amazing. The lighting was vibrant and colourful, bringing a real visual spectacle to the show.

With a big production like Chitty being on tour, one does wonder how the staging will compare to that of being staged in a west end venue, but we were in safe hands here with the set and costume designs by Morgan Large. The set is mainly comprised of pieces which are brought on and off by cast members, but there were some lovely moments of scenery, in particular Caractacus's inventions, that help bring the magic to life. The costumes were of the period mainly, but also very vibrant, giving this production a big dose of colour and flair.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a feel-good family musical which leaves you in such an uplifting mood and will have you singing to yourself for days. Now where's my stick of bamboo? The tour continues all the way through to May 2025 - for more information and tickets, you can follow the link here.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5*)

Gifted tickets in return for an honest review | photography by Paul Coltas


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