A lot of people seem to have been very excited about this musical arriving to perform in Cardiff. Coming from a different cultural background myself, I had never heard of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang before, and therefore was curious as to what all the fuss was about.
It won’t do it justice if I just say it was worth my while – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a beautiful fairytale from childhood that you need in your life so much, no matter what age you are. It felt like I went fifteen years back in age and was just a little kid following the story closely – similar to the feeling you get when you go to the circus, get yourself a giant candyfloss and get amused over clowns and acrobats performing tricks on stage.
The story takes us to the 1910’s in England and a fictional land called Vulgaria, where Vulgaria has a tyrant governor and bizarre laws like “no children in the country”. Nobody in Vulgaria is protesting against the over-the-top ridiculous customs imposed on them, and all Vulgarians seem to have a distinctive Eastern European accent – got to love a piece of anti-utopia and satire in a children’s story.
The world in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is indeed quite “fantasmagorical”, with the flying/swimming car, Vulgarian Baron’s crazy obsession over toys and the grim Child Catcher. At the same time, all of the parts of the puzzle make perfect sense. More than that – every single part of the musical seems to have the exact effect on the audience that it was supposed to have: the Vulgarian spies (who seemed to be the audience’s favourites) were hilarious, the inventor and his family were truly amusing and lovable, and when the Child Catcher appeared, I couldn’t help but feeling somewhat anxious and… scared? (It’s hard to admit a fictional character from a children’s story scares you when you’re 23.)
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One more thing that will definitely leave you impressed is the decorations: a very nice blend of physical objects and digital images that create a wonderful atmosphere, which adds a special feel to the World of the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang musical. Talking about the physical part, Chitty looks absolutely fantastic both before and after the Potts’ “reboot”.
In all honesty, I found the musical truly, madly, deeply… seriously scrumptious.
The show will go on at the WMC until 21st August 2016! More information here.
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