Reviewed by Catherine Brown
The amazing flying car Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has landed at the New Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham thanks to BMOS Musical Theatre Company. With the classic film being a favourite of mine and my boys, the plot and characters were already familiar to us, so we were delighted to discover that their stage version was just as entertaining.
Brother and sister Jeremy and Jemima live with their inventor father Caractacus Potts (James Gordanifer) and are desperate to raise the 30 shillings needed to purchase the abandoned car they love playing in. Along comes Truly Scrumptious, played by the enchanting Carys Wilson, who initially feels they are not being parented properly. The children soon show her the fun they can have by using their imagination and they go off on an adventure to rescue their Grandpa.
The actors are supported by vibrant costumes and scenery including an actual flying car! Fans of the film will recognise the original Sherman brothers’ songs such as ‘Me Ol Bamboo’ and ‘Toot Sweets’ while you won’t be able to resist singing along to ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’. The energy of the cast is fantastic; my favourite part involved Caractacus trying to escape a disgruntled victim of one of his inventions at a fairground, although a scene in the Vulgarian Castle Ballroom involving an energetic samba by the Baron and Baroness came a close second.
There was plenty of humour from spies Boris and Goran, played by Jake Genders and Tim Reeves, who are tasked to capture Caractacus and his amazing car. The audience were laughing and cheering throughout – it was obvious everyone on and off stage was having a good time. I was particularly impressed by the young children playing Jeremy and Jemima (Daisy Green and Rui Greaves on the night we attended) who worked brilliantly together.
The New Alexandra Theatre is easy to get to on foot or by car, we parked at the Town Hall car park which offers an evening ticket rate. The staff at the theatre were very helpful and friendly, although the amount of people wandering up and down the aisles towards the end of the second half was distracting. There was a good range of drinks, sweets and ice cream available at the interval – much needed thanks to the hot weather. The seats were comfortable with plenty of leg room and there were plenty of clean toilets that only had the shortest of queues.
I would recommend this show to audiences of all ages, definitely worthy of a 5 out of 5 rating. I was captivated by the magic and left the theatre with a smile on my face – the teamwork from BMOS have certainly made the dream work!
Tickets cost from £16.40 to £31.40 (plus £3.65 transaction fee).
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is at the New Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham from 26-30 June 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/birmingham or call the box office on 0844 871 3011.
New Alexandra Theatre, Suffolk Queensway, Birmingham, West Midlands, B5 4DS