Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

By Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, adapted for the stage by Jeremy Sams. Directed by Jo-Anne Palmer and Melissa Kelly. Caroline Payne Theatre, Corpus Christ College, Bateman, WA. Apr 23-27, 2024

"Chitty Chitty Bang Bang we love you”, and there was lots to love about Corpus Christi College’s joyous production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Featuring students from Junior School through to Year 12, and involving a plethora of students, staff, and parents, this was a true college community production that was great fun to watch.

With fabulous production values, a great set design that worked for multiple locations by Noah Gliosca, beautiful costumes from Melissa Kelly and a student crew, and highly effective lighting from Technical Director Chris Hastie - this was a production with a professional look - and even featured a car that “flew”.

A large cast were kept busy throughout, with every performer focused and enthusiastic, from Hidden Children, through Morris Dancers and Scientists. Minor characters were played with polish and complete commitment.

Leading man Xavier Petta is a triple threat, with a great voice and great charisma, anchoring the show well as Caractacus Potts. Gisella Colletti was a truly delightful Truly Scrumptious, with depth of character. Nicolas Willey gave a strong performance as Jeremy Potts, working well with Audrey Fernando, making an excellent acting debut as Jemima. Completing the family, Josh Diaz brought personality and Chaplinesque physicality to Grandpa Potts.

Having fun as the villains were Josh Trant and Alice Herbert as Baron and Baroness Bomburst - bouncing nicely off each other. Great teamwork also from cartoonish spies Goran and Boris, played with flair by Leo Webb and Jessica Aulfrey.

In smaller roles, Tory Gaglia followed in the footsteps of balletic Child Catchers such as Sir Robert Helpmann, light footed in heavy boots, while Xavia Variyan’s unique portrayal of The Toymaker was lovely.

In a production of this calibre, it isn’t possible to list every special moment, but I really enjoyed this warm, inclusive, and well-polished production. Corpus Christ should be very proud of the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang team.

Kimberley Shaw