REVIEW: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Lyceum Theatre

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

There’s plenty of pantomime in this brisk and breezy and version of Ian Fleming’s unlikely story of a fanciful car that can float and fly.

From Baron not-so-hard-up and his comic-book wife, to Broker’s men Vulgarians and a wicked child catching villain; and a hero and heroine complete with babes, only the dame is missing. So the audience is rightly encouraged to hiss, boo and cheer at the happy ending final curtain.

The touring show, originating at West Yorkshire Playhouse, is a truly scrumptious affair with a celebrity studded cast and technical wizardry which makes translation from film to stage a superb spectacle.

Lee Mead as the eccentric dad Caractacus Potts leads the cast with easy assurance and Carrie Hope Fletcher is his perfect foil with her bravura feminism then endearing tenderness.

Past and present East Enders seem to be a necessary part of musicals these days and Michelle Collins and Shaun Williamson don’t disappoint as they play off each other with familiar aplomb as the Baron and Baroness.

Matt Gillett’s creepy childcatcher provides the necessary fear factor and Sam Harrison and Scott Paige lighten the mood every time they appear as the hapless spies.

Set piece numbers like Me Ol’ Bamboo, Toot Sweets and the Bombie Samba set the stage alight and by the end the audience is singing the title song with infectious abandon.

But inevitably the car is the star. And it really does go chitty chitty bang bang.