It must be mildly terrifying to take an iconic film which provided the background for a whole generation of childhoods and transfer it to stage but Chitty the Musical does it with a bang.
For anyone who doesn’t know the Chitty story (where have you been?!) The plot follows the plight of Caractacus Potts and his two children Jemima and Jeremy as they try to come to terms with the loss of their mother and prevent the spoilt Baron Bomburst getting his hands on their beloved car Chitty.
Jason Manford plays the eccentric, slightly bonkers but endearing Caractacus Potts to perfection. His rapport with the young stars is natural making it entirely believable and utterly heart warming. Hushabye Mountain is particularly beautiful and shows off Manford’s great vocal range. His relationship with Charlotte Wakefield as the strong and somewhat feisty Truly is delightful.
Sam Harrison and Scott Paige raised the most laughs of the night with their brilliant portrayal of Vulgarian spies Boris and Goran and some terribly cheesy but yet brilliantly funny jokes. With the kind of silly humour young children love and some adult innuendos for good measure they really did steal the show.
Jos Vantyler plays the nightmare of our childhood dreams with a terrifying ease and his extensive theatre experience shows, we have seen this role played in almost a panto style but Vantyler takes the role back to its original film state and is delightfully wicked.
Baron and Baroness Bomburst stay true to the film. In a land where children are forbidden and the Baron holds an obsession with toys, Phill Jupitus dead pan drop of one liners had the audience in uproar as did Claire Sweeny’s portrayal of the slightly saucy child hating Barononess.
The staging is utterly stunning with complicated scenery and beautiful projection and the whole production hits you with a feast of colour.
As Chitty lit up the stage in her final scenes our small companion simply uttered WOW and we think this sums up Chitty in one word.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang we most definitely do love you!
Chitty runs until January the 15th at the Lowry Theatre, Salford. For information and tickets see here.
Go see it!