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Thursday, 18 April, 2002, 17:04 GMT 18:04 UK
Chitty back on the road
Michael Ball
Michael Ball plays the mad inventor
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has come up off the blocks and reopened the day after the musical was forced to be cancelled due to technical problems.

Thursday's matinee performance went ahead as scheduled after thousands of disappointed theatregoers were turned away on Wednesday night.

The hi-tech London stage version of the movie classic could not go ahead because of difficulties with the car, just one night after receiving rave reviews and a standing ovation.

One of the spectacles of the show is the car "flying" over the top of the audience.

About 2,000 people had to be turned away from the London Palladium when it became obvious it would not be fixed in time for the show to go ahead.


It is the not the first time a West End star has thrown a strop and she was given a stern talking to

Producer Michael Rose
The problem was eventually fixed at 2130 BST but it was too late for it to start.

Producers were forced to issue an apology and promise a refund or tickets for another performance.

But the show is now back on course with all the scheduled performances set to go ahead as planned.

Last minute replacement

One of the musical's producers, Michael Rose, said the problem had been an electrical fault within the car's computer system.

He said: "We had to replace a component at the last minute and, because all the components have to speak to one another there was a problem and the car would not start.

"It is the not the first time a West End star has thrown a strop and she was given a stern talking to."

Michael Ball and Emma Williams
Michael Ball and Emma Williams star in the stage version

The original story was written by James Bond creator Ian Fleming and was turned into a famous movie with Dick Van Dyke in the main role.

The stage version is directed by Adrian Noble, artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The role of the Child Catcher, who lures youngsters away from their parents and locks them up in dungeons, is played by Rocky Horror Show star Richard O'Brien.

Brian Blessed, Anton Rodgers and Nichola McAuliffe also make up the cast.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is already booking up until October.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Helen Callaghan
"She's passed her MOT and is now stage worthy"

The Chitty Chitty Bang Bang legend explained
Chitty's big Bang


Victor reviews Chitty Chitty Bang BangKid's review
Chitty show went with a bang!
See also:

17 Apr 02 | Reviews
Magic of childhood recaptured
17 Apr 02 | Reviews
Critics cheer for Chitty
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
17 Aug 99 | Scotland
Chitty star in eviction wrangle
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