We were invited to the press night at The Lowry, Salford where we were entertained by a choir singing the songs from the show along with some festive favourites, while we waited in the foyer for the show to start, which really got us in the mood. Starring Jason Manford, Phill Jupitus and Claire Sweeney, this spectacular production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang brings all the excitement, adventure, comedy and emotion of the film to the stage.
From the moment the show began, my children (aged 7, 14 and 20) were all hooked. Jason Manford in the role of Caractacus Potts is superb, conveying the pathos and emotion with as much conviction as the humour. And he can sing too! The children in the roles of Jemima and Jeremy are amazing and bring such wide eyed innocence and excitable childish enthusiasm to the story. Such talented kids!
The real star of the show is of course the car and the use of theatre magic brings Chitty to life. The car drives down country lanes, floats on the ocean and flies in the sky! Thanks to some cool special effects technolgy, some clever scenery and the use of projected images, the audience is completely immersed into the production, being transported from land to sea to air, from England to Vulgaria.
The two Vulgarian spies, Boris and Goran bring laugh out loud comedy to the show. With their exaggerated accents, ridiculous disguises and their habit of getting things wrong, they have everyone giggling. Baron and Baroness Bomburst (played by Jupitus and Sweeney) also play it perfectly for laughs and their rendition of You're My Little Choochy Face is a delight! The Vulgarian, child-hating, toy loving dictators are such colourful characters and have some very extravagant scenes. Grandpa Potts is another super character who adds some eccentric humour, warmth and fun to the show.
The songs of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang are all so memorable and you can't help clapping or singing along at times. We loved the scene where Truly and Caractacus are dressed as toys to infiltrate the castle during the Baron's birthday celebrations. They sing a mix up of Turning around on a Music Box and Truly Scrumptious, which is just lovely.
Perhaps the darkest character from any family film ever is the evil Child Catcher. He is the stuff of nightmares, taking children away, locking them in a cage and then making them disappear. He was brilliantly and sinisterly played by Jos Vantyler.
This production is a breathtaking show for all the family, filled with great choreography, funny moments, brilliant music, amazing special effects, wonderful acting and heartwarming emotion. It is recommended for children over 5 (although if you don't attend a matinee, be prepared for the kids to have a late night!) Freddy at 7 absolutely loved it and we would definitely recommend it for families this festive season. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is at The Lowry until January 15th 2017.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
The Lowry, Salford
Tue 6 December 2016– Sun 15 January 2017
7.30pm (Wed, Sat & Sun 2pm)
Tickets: £19.50 - £47.50 (Including booking fees)
Box office: 0843 208 6000