10-21 February 2016
Reviewed by Joanne Hughes
Last night my friend and I had the ‘funtastic’ pleasure of seeing the play Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton. After parking easily in a small public car park just around the corner from the theatre, we were greeted with a wide smile from the Press Officer, who handed us our tickets and a souvenir programme for the show. We then headed to our circle seats, looking forward to a fabulous show which has had very good reviews.
The Mayflower Theatre is a lovely theatre with lots of character, the staff were very welcoming and polite and the facilities were easily accessible and clean, though the bar and the interval ice-creams are very pricey.
The show Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is about a family of two motherless children, their father, Potts, an inventor, and grandfather, who wish to buy an old racing car from their local garage owner, who is about to sell it for scrap. Potts creates a few inventions to gain the money – a sweetie whistle and a mobile hairdresser unit which he sells to a turkey farmer – and they buy their beloved car. Little do they realise that this racing car is very unique as it can fly and drive on water – all the reasons for which the Baron Bomburst of Vulgaria also wishes to have it, and is prepared to do anything to get it. The Baron kidnaps the grandfather, believing him to be the inventor, and the family, with the help of Truly Scrumptious, the gorgeous daughter of the owner of the confectionary business who falls for Potts, head off in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to rescue him. In Vulgaria, the children are kidnapped by the evil Childcatcher – but Potts and Truly save the day, freeing Pott’s children and grandfather, and all the children of Vulgaria, then flying home in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
The show was fantastic, full of fabulous songs to sing along to, and amazing stage effects which have the marvellous Chitty driving through the countryside, over the sea and flying in the air, – much to the awe and delight of all members of the audience. The cast (including Jason Manford as Potts, Martin Kemp as The Childcatcher, Michelle Collins as the Baroness, and Phill Jupitus as the Baron) were enigmatic and enthralling throughout the show, and the cast of children gave a sparkling and joyous performance. There was laughter and smiles from all ages of the audience, together with resounding applause.
This is a show not to be missed, that will warm the hearts of everyone.
A fantastic evening all round – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang we really do love you!
Tickets cost from £15 to £49.50 (booking fees may apply).
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton until 21 February 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 02380 711811.
Mayflower Theatre, Commercial Road, Southampton, SO15 1GE | 02380 711811