Details: New Wimbledon Theatre, The Broadway, Wimbledon, SW19 1Q
Tube: Wimbledon Station | South Wimbledon Station
Performances: Tue, 16th March 2010 to Sat, 3rd April 2010
In full:Chitty Chitty Bang Bang we love you - the new mantra of cast, kids, critics and theatre producers. The West End has long been wooing a crowd puller to seduce its dwindling audience, and it seems the long awaited new kid on the block has finally arrived.
This is a tale choc full of candid characters. What with Grandpa Potts, the dastardly baron and the evil child catcher all out in force, the show proves an extravaganza of wacky inventions. The Sherman brothers' songs made the film famous and now the high flying musical is simply soaring.
The one weakness? As with many a British hit, the choreography could be better. Jeremy Sams' text, though, is top notch, and his writing is supported by a cast strong enough to give the script real back bone. 18 year old Emma Williams lives up to her name as Truly Scrumptious, as does director Adrian Noble. The Royal Shakespeare chief may have left his company in the lurch, but he's done the honest thing by the Sherman Brothers' musical masterpiece.
What Noble taps into is the dramatic heart of Ian Fleming's book. At Noble's bidding, the airbourne car of the title becomes not just a gimmick, but the soul of a tale about the sorts of dreams that deserve to come true. Following in the footsteps of long-runners like The Lion King, this musical takes its plot from a film and its charm from some truly scrumptious sets. From Lord Scrumptious's delicious sweet factory to Caractacus Potts' wacky inventions, you'll find yourself believing in the unbelievable. Like the best of sweet things, this sugary stuff gets you high.