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Wednesday, 17 April, 2002, 10:53 GMT 11:53 UK
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: Your views
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Is the car's arrival on stage breathtaking?
Children's film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was a huge success when it was released in 1968, with a flying car as the star turn.

Now it has been adapted as a musical for the West End stage, with the magical vehicle alone costing 750,000.

"I read the book, so I knew there was a flying car in it. But on stage it was really impressive," said Newsround's press packer, Victor, age 11, from London.

But what do you think?

Was the car as amazing as you thought it would be? What about the rest of the show? Does it matter that this is yet another revival rather than a new musical?

HAVE YOUR SAY

Totally horrid production - a must miss.
Patrick, London

Truly Scrumptious! I believe this is the best show in the West End. A fantastic cast, orchestra, and best of all the props (especially Chitty!). It really is a magical show that I can't wait to see again - best seats are those at the front row of the dress circle.
Jillian Fullbrook, England

FABULOUS! We went with our (soon to be) six- year-old son, and it was us who were on the edge of our seats en mass - definitely the best place to see it from is the Royal Circle. As Chitty makes her entrance and her virgin run, there is a certain swell of pride and as you take the roller coaster with them back to Vulgaria to rescue the children the Child Catcher gets his just desserts and you come out of the theatre on an all time high.

Everyone is superb; in my opinion the casting could not have been bettered. Ten out of ten and well recommended for everyone - if you see one show this year, make it this one.
Stephanie Freeman, England

I took my five-year-old daughter last week while we were over on vacation. She hasn't stopped talking about it yet! The entire show was absolutely brilliant! I can hardly wait for Chitty to fly across the pond so I can take my son too.
Trisha, USA


My one reservation is that Michael Ball (Caracticus Potts) is too old to play that role. Even so, the show is superb - go and see it!!!!

R F Aitcheson
I flew to London specifically to see the play and it was one of the most spectacular things I will most likely ever see in my life. The sets were absolutely stunning and Richard O'Brien's Child Catcher was a fright! I'm seriously considering another London trip to see it again!
Peter Hudson, US

It's great fun from start to finish. Michael Ball sings beautifully and the rest of the cast are also excellent. I loved it and will go again.
Tracie, England, UK

Absolutely brillaint production and highly recommended for adults as well as children. An evening of pure escapism! Long may it run. We have a 2-year-old who will be ready to see it when she is older!!
Dianne Hart, UK

Chitty is a musical with pantomime undertones - and amazingly well done too. I saw this last week and was very impressed. My one reservation is that Michael Ball (Caracticus Potts) is too old to play that role. Even so, the show is superb - go and see it!!!!
RF Aitchison, UK

FANTASTIC!!! Superb cast, amazing effects!! My mum and I sang along from start to finish! I grew up watching the film and felt it did it proud. A definite must see for musical lovers. No longer want a Porsche, now want a Chitty! Was Patrick (at the top) at the same show as the rest of us??
Melissa, England


I came away impressed with the incredible design elements but left thinking more about how much money was spent than being thoroughly enchanted

Sam, US
Absolutely brilliant. All the cast sang every song well and the dancing was superb. The only character I was unsure about was the child catcher, as every time he appeared there was so much booing and hissing as to be able to hear him. We floated all the way home, and still find ourselves humming the tunes, and have made so many recommendations to people to go and see it.
Diane, UK

An absolutely spectacular show, with an amazing star studded cast. The props and scenery are amazing and every little detail has been thought of and you can see they have invested a lot of money in this production. It's fun and a must!
Caroline, UK

Absolutely brilliant. The scenery and effects are stunning and to see Chitty take flight is a sheer delight. Michael Ball and the cast are superb, it is so good to see Michael back in the West End. A must see for all children or not.
Stephen, England

I wasn't as impressed as many others here but not as disappointed as Patrick. The show didn't quite have the magic for me that I had hoped. I felt the adaptation needed some cutting and revising especially toward the end of Act I and the samba number could have been cut. I came away impressed with the incredible design elements but left thinking more about how much money was spent than being thoroughly enchanted.
Sam, US


In essence it is a show for children of all ages and certainly brought back lovely memories!

Kate, UK
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is brilliant.
Tariq, Pakistan

Thought the show was fun but the lead guy, Michael Ball, looked too old for the part and not believable - much more of a kids show than an adults show.
Stevo, New York

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is magnificent. I attended the performance of 18th April and can honestly say that in twenty years of serious theatregoing, including every major West End musical since Evita opened, I have never heard an audience react with such enthusiasm at the end. Afterwards, the audience - myself included - left the theatre sporting huge silly, sloppy grins of delight. And when Chitty flies, it truly is the finest piece of stagecraft I have ever seen. Post-September 11, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is, like The Full Monty a month or so ago, precisely the kind of feelgood show the West End needs.
Martin Sterling, England

Everyone keeps saying the car is the star. Not for me! While everyone was watching the magic car (and very impressive it was too), I was busy watching Mr Truly Scrummy Scrumptious himself, Michael Ball! Corrrr! (Three years younger than Dick van Dyke was when he did the film role).

Seriously, a great night out for "kids" young and old.
Marie, England

Went to see the show on its second night. Not very impressive as the car broke down and the management did not inform us as to what was happening. Ended up waiting around for an hour and a half for a show that was cancelled.
Richard, England

On the whole, a good bit of fun but an adult's only performance once a week/fortnight would be appreciated; allow the "big kids" to enjoy it without the annoying pantomime atmosphere and squawking spoilt brats I had to sit next to for nearly three hours.
Felicity, UK


A brilliant show with a brilliant cast. Michael Ball is a wonderful Potts

Marie, UK
I enjoyed many of the performances in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang but, along with RF Aitchison, I agree that Michael Ball is miscast. He is unfortunately too old to make a convincing love interest for Truly and is clearly not a dancer since the scenes where he is required to dance have noticeably simpler choreography. He will doubtless be compared to Dick Van Dyke and found wanting and it is a shame that the producers felt that they needed a name in order to float the show rather than someone more suited to the role.

In marked contrast, Nicola McAuliffe is fabulous and should be appluaded for a brilliant characterisation of the part of the Baroness and Anton Rodgers is delightful as Caractacus Potts Senior. The sets and costumes are beautiful and show the care that has been taken to remain true to Cubby Broccoli's vision in the film.

In essence it is a show for children of all ages and certainly brought back lovely memories!
Kate, UK

A brilliant show with a brilliant cast. Michael Ball is a wonderful Potts. The scenes between him and the kids playing his children are lovely. His dancing, well considering he has only been training for the last six months or so, I think he is doing a grand job. Any shortfalls in his dancing ability are more than made up for by his amazing voice.

Anton Rogers makes a lovely job of grandpa. Richard O'Brien is so scary as the childcatcher and Nicola McAuliffe and Brian Blessed are great as the Baron and Baroness although they don't have much to do really.

The atmosphere in the auditorium is amazing. If you don't like kids don't go and see this show as there are as many children in the audience as there are adults, if not more.

However, if you go along and enjoy this show for what it is, a great piece of family entertainment, you will have a lovely time.
Marie, UK

There is a big age gap between Michael Ball (39) and Emma Williams (18) but, when you think about it, Dick van Dyke was 43 and Sally Ann Howes was 33 when they played the film roles. And, after all, Caractacus Potts is a widower so wouldn't be all that young. If anything, it's Emma who's a little out of step.

Not that it matters because in a production where you have to believe in a flying car and a country called Vulgaria where there are no children, I'm sure you can get your imagination to stretch a little further to accommodate Emma and Michael becoming an item!

It's a great show, lots of fun and the cast - all of them - are excellent.

Just put reality to one side for one evening and enjoy.
Trudy, England

Having adapted CCBB to the stage and entrepreneured in 1986 what I believe to be its first stage presentation my interest in this first professional stage production knows no bounds. I have enjoyed soaking up the comments of members of the first night's audience. My one great disappointment is living so far away from London and unable to afford to travel to see this fabulous production.
Malcolm Jones, Christchurch, New Zealand

This musical is wonderful, I plan to see it again. It is literally spectacular!
Mandy, England

Michael Ball is truly wonderful and the show is just great. My one regret is that my 10-year-old granddaughter was not with me to see this incredible show.
Brenda, Canada

Fantastic show. All of the cast were brilliant, but Brian Blessed was absolutely fantastic as the Baron, very funny indeed. Our six-year-old daughter didn't speak throughout the entire show because she was so captivated, (and so were we!) A "must-see" for people of all ages and nearly as good as the film.
J Simpson, UK

Absolutely fantastic show! Itching to see it again, Michael Ball was the best.
Jenny Toplis, Britain

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See also:

17 Apr 02 | Reviews
Magic of childhood recaptured
17 Apr 02 | Your Reports
Chitty show went with a Bang!
16 Apr 02 | Showbiz
Stage Chitty goes with a bang
17 Apr 02 | Reviews
Critics cheer for Chitty
16 Apr 02 | Showbiz
The Chitty legend
10 Apr 02 | Showbiz
Gala night for Chitty musical
06 Feb 02 | England
'Pupstars' bark for Chitty stardom
02 May 01 | Film
The cult of the flying car
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