Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: 007th Heaven.
There’s a child inside all of us, no matter how grown up we may pretend to be. One can only wonder how Ian Fleming, creator of the great James Bond, found his inner child to write Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – one of the world’s best loved children’s stories and films. Now it’s a musical and, after a successful run in Sydney, it has its official opening tomorrow night (Saturday February 2nd) in Melbourne at the theatre we lovingly call “The Maj”. There’s not a sign of the suave famous spy, but there are baddies and heroes galore.
Directed by the prolific Roger Hodgman, and with songs by the Sherman Brothers – Richard and Robert, the show was created from the movie which we no doubt took our kids to see, or sat through, wide-eyed and gobsmacked ourselves, in the darkened cinema. It’s been the longest running musical ever to play the London Palladium and nominated for 26 awards in total including its Sydney awards last month. It has a huge cast, great stage stars in David Hobson, Rachael Beck, fabulous sets and costumes and even a flying car. Yes, I’ve seen it for myself, it really does fly and I was instantly transported back to childhood. The car itself…dear Chitty…is the most expensive prop ever made for the British stage and has pride of place in The Guinness Book of Records. It’s a simple story with a highly sophisticated production. And yet, it’s not a show which springs to mind as one of the all time greats. That is about to change for Melbourne audiences. It’s only rarely that we get a musical that we can take the kids to see and know we’ll enjoy it just as much. We had Annie and Mary Poppins last year, but it’s a New Year, and that means new delights. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is guaranteed to make you feel like a kid again, and isn’t that something we all need from time to time?
The Melbourne cast includes:-
CARACTACUS POTTS David Hobson
TRULY SCRUMPTIOUS Rachael Beck
BARON BOMBURST Alan Brough
BARONESS BOMBURST Jennifer Vuletic
GORAN George Kapiniaris
GRANDPA POTTS Peter Carroll
BORIS Todd Goddard
CHILDCATCHER/JUNKMAN Tyler Coppin
JEREMY Kade Hughes, Kurtis Papadinis and Beau Woodbridge
JEMIMA Quinn Cameron, Lucille Le Meledo and Caitlyn Vippond
TOYMAKER Philip Gould
Tony Farrell, Alex Given, Paul Hanlon, Mark Hill, Nick Jones, Andrew Kroenert, Liam McIlwain, Andrew Marshall, Rubin Matters, Jensen Overend, Anthony Pepe, Jan Di Pietro
Alicia Attwood, Francine Cain, Sophie Carter, Shannon Clark, Ashleigh Hauschild, Meg Hoult, Annabel Knight, Brooke McDowell, Emily Paddon-Brown, Stephanie Turner
ENSEMBLE / LOST CHILDREN -
Quinn Cameron, Kade Hughes, Lucille Le Meledo, Kurtis Papadinis, Caitlin Vippond, Beau Woodbridge, Lucinda Armstrong-Hall, Belinda Barichello, Remy Bednarski, Jack Bergin, Xavier Bruggeman; Eliza Carlin, Jordan Cleary, Lucy Coyne, Cameron Davey, Alexandra De Groot, Oliver Evans, Mackenzie Farran, Jared Gabriel, Jordan Giannis, Jasmine Goldberg, Molly Haringsma, Monique Heath, Peter Lejins, Jack Lyall, Paris Mahar, Alice McDonald, Isabella Meilak, Marcus Mohr, Ethan O'Donovan, Maddison Padula, Tara Parker, Amalia Stramotas, Luke Tieri, Angelo Vasilakakos, Nicholas Vasilakakos.