Venue: The Mayflower Southampton
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang flew straight into Southampton this week for the first stop on its road trip. This touring production is based on the 1968 movie of the same name and follows Caractacus Potts’ journey as an eccentric inventor. I feel that this should be Chitty’s last outing as it is a bit outdated for today’s audience.
The all-star cast is led perfectly by Jason Manford, who was the best performance of the night. Manford who played Potts, the loveable father of two, received acclaim for his role in ‘The Producers’ and is the lifeblood of this production. Joined on stage by team purple, Henry Kent and Lucy Sherman, who melted the hearts of the audience as Jeremy and Jemima Potts.
Phil Jupitus and Michelle Collins who stared as Baron and Baroness Bomburst, the idiotic and childish child haters, gave cheesy but entertaining performances. The real comedy comes in the form of Vulgarian Spies; Scott Paige as Goran and Sam Harrison as Boris . The boys change the pace with their physical and accent orientated comedy.
Martin Kemp plays the pantomime villainesque, The Childcatcher. Whilst frightening some of the children in front of me, I wasn’t buying it. For such a well known star his part is tiny and not one of his best.
There are two other stars of the show. Simon Wainwright’s video designs are fantastically created and timed and combined seamlessly with the set design to create a magical backdrop. The flying, floating, rotating and honking car is mesmerising to watch and makes the production feel truly magical. Notable mention should also go to the Sherman brothers admired soundtrack including the titular classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang along with Truly Scrumptious and Me ol’ Bamboo.
This child and crowd pleaser continues at the Mayflower until Sunday 21st before heading on it’s UK and Ireland tour.