Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - BBLOC Review

When I was growing up, one of my fondest memories was my mum singing me songs from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang around the house. It's a simple memory that I've passed down to share with me and Max, and when he was a lot younger I would sing Hushabye Mountain to him to get to sleep.

Hearing that Bournemouth & Boscombe Light Opera Company (BBLOC) were putting on the musical that captured my childhood, I couldn't wait to take Max and my mum to see it at the Bournemouth Pavilion! To have the opportunity to live nostalgically for one evening was exactly what we needed to end the summer holidays. We were off to see Chitty and the gang!

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang BBLOC
 (Photos courtesy of BBLOC and Charles Michael Duke)
Based on the story by Ian Fleming and the film on the same name, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang tells the tale of inventor Caracatacus Potts (Rob Dorey), and his two children Jeremy (Jacob Skipper) and Jemima (Sofia Onorato). They head off on a rescue mission with Truly Scrumptious (Sally Wheeler) to save Grandpa Potts (Phillip Fry) from the evil Baron and Baroness of Vulgaria with the help of their fantasmagorical car Chitty. 

Along the way they learn the importance of sticking together, teamwork gets the job done and fighting for your family. The musical follows closely along with the film and includes all your favourite numbers including Toot Sweets, Me-Ol Bamboo and Truly Scrumptious along with a couple of other songs that will have you tapping your toes along in your seat and humming under your breath. 

Everything from the casting to the costuming and sets in this show were fantastic. I could honestly not find a fault in the production at all. From the moment the curtain came up, to the moment it fell after the last bow, me, my mum and Max were transfixed. It not only filled us with warmth and happiness, it left us singing and wishing we could join Chitty on it's next adventure. Bravo to the director Helen Barrington, who did such a marvellous job of bringing everyone together. 

The casting was everything you wanted it to be in a show. With the loving Truly who captured everyone's hearts to the goofy Grandpa. Each and every character was beyond spot on. I have to take my hat off to the two Vulgarian spies (Darren Ellery and Matthew Traher) who kept the laughs rolling even in the most tensest of moments. I was truly impressed with the creepiness of the child catcher. He's always been a character that has sent shivers and this version by Sean Hardy was no exception.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang BBLOC
 (Photos courtesy of BBLOC and Charles Michael Duke)

Rob Dorey did a perfect rendition of Potts. His version of Hushabye Mountain was truly magnificent and he kept the whole story rolling along with the help of Sally Wheeler and the two children. In fact all the children in the show were fantastic. They did a great job of adapting to each scene and there were definitely some future stars up on the stage!

The choreography from Carly Simmerling is something that needs to be talked about, to keep that amount of adults, kids and dogs (yes, dogs!) in check and in time on stage is something to applaud! Each song looked seamless and the choreography complimented it perfectly. My favourites had to be the stick twirling bamboo dance and the mesmerising Toot Sweets.

I have to say that not often does a show truly blow me away and leave me speechless, but BBLOC's version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang did. The professionalism and high level of production in this show by an amateur dramatic group left me thinking that I was watching a show on the West End. It was honestly a breathtaking production that left the crowd on their feet cheering and our hearts filled with joy. 

Thank you BBLOC for inviting us to watch this literally high-flying, toot sweet, fantastic musical. It truly was a pleasure for the whole family and I can't wait to see what else you have in store!

The show is on twice daily at the Bournemouth Pavilion until Sunday 2nd September and is perfect for young and old. To buy tickets head to www.chittymusical.co.uk

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang BBLOC
 (Photos courtesy of BBLOC and Renouf Design)
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