Review: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Presented by Tim Lawson & Adelaide Festival Centre
Reviewed Wednesday 1 May 2013

This marvellous family entertainment is a sure-fire hit for everyone, filled with colour, comedy, memorable tunes and that oh-so-magical flying car!

The play reimagines the beloved film of the late 1960s which, in turn, is based on a story by Ian Fleming – better known as the creator of James Bond. When inventor Caractacus Potts restores an old, backfiring racing car for his two children, the trio inadvertently set course for adventure with heiress Truly Scrumptious; foiling kidnappings and spies from the evil country of Vulgaria.

This fun-loving stage show is adapted by Jeremy Sams and Ray Roderick, with songs by Richard and Robert Sherman. The hit tunes from the film are worth the anticipation including Toot Sweets in the candy factory and the insanely catchy title number.

In an enormous ensemble of quality stars and support actors, it’s the car itself that steals the show; earning its own round of applause when it first appears restored and again when it takes flight above the Festival Theatre stage in a stunning illusion to close the first Act.

Of the human cast, even being upstaged by an old car and the unexpected appearance of a pack of dogs can’t negate their stellar performances. David Hobson could not be better cast as Potts and Rachael Beck truly is scrumptious as the sweet-voiced heiress. Despite being the only one with an Australian accent, Peter Carroll is in fine form as Grandpa; and so too are George Kapiniaris and Todd Goddard playing the bumbling spies who are out to steal the car.

Alan Brough and Jennifer Vuletic are simply delightful as the child-like Baron of Vulgaria and his wife, and Tyler Coppin is deliciously, seductively evil as the Childcatcher. Even the children and child’s chorus are noteworthy.

Roger Hodgman’s direction is bright, bubbly and full of fun. So too is Dana Jolly’s fabulous choreography and Anthony Ward’s bright scenic and costume designs.

Big budget, family-friendly productions such as this don’t come along too often but Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is sure to see you through until the next time.

Reviewed by Rod Lewis, Performing Arts Critic, Glam Adelaide.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang official website

Venue: Adelaide Festival Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre, King William Street, Adelaide
Season: 1 May – 26 May
Duration: 2.5 hours
Tickets: $32.95 – $115.90
Bookings: Book at BASS



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