Review: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the Regent Theatre, Stoke on Trent

Director: James Brining

Music and Lyrics: Richard M. Sherman and Robert B Sherman

Writer: Ian Fleming

Adapter for the Stage: Jeremy Sams

The famous car is on the road again and touring Theatres across the country. Starting originally a Film, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was later adapted for the stage and it is very easy to see why. The production has many elements of a standard piece of musical theatre; an upbeat script of high energy musical numbers and a couple of hours of light-hearted fun.

The heart of this newest revival lies with its quintessentially British humour, assisted by some high energy performances from Sam Harrison and Scott Paige who play  the hilarious spies for the Baron, Boris and Goran. The up-tempo ‘Act English’ scene is quirky and marks the middle of the lengthy Act One in a way that keeps the audience engaged.

Jason Manford’s portyal of Caractacus Pott’s is full of heart and emotion. Some celebrity castings are added to a musical to put bums on seats but this well thought through decision allows Manford’s fatherly persona to shine through and empathise the overall theme of family love  which is used throughout.

While the overall staging was very clever and allows the audience to follow the plot it was a shame to see the lighting whitewash the impressive projection in parts. The star of the show Chitty certainly amazes the audience as it sets off from the ground using some very clever theatrical techniques.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, although in some places could do with tightening up, is fun for all the family. It has themes and a book that everyone should enjoy in addition to some staging that wows all those who watch. Its British charm should leave you smiling.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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