West Yorkshire Playhouse and Music and Lyrics Limited have announced that they will tour a new production of the beloved musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in 2016. Based on the classic novel by Ian Fleming and the renown film of the same name, the show features an iconic score by the Sherman Brothers which includes the Academy Award-nominated title song. This production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang will be directed by James Brining, the Artistic Director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse with choreography by Stephen Mear and production design by Simon Higlett. Caractacus Potts will be played by Jason Manford (The Producers, Sweeney Todd) from 10 February until 24 April, and he will return to the show from 5 October 2016. Lee Mead (Casualty, Legally Blonde, Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat) will play Caractacus Potts from 4 May until 18 September 2016. Martin Kemp (EastEnders, The Krays) will play … Read more
In the title role, Zoe Wanamaker is in terrific form. She is wholly believable as a woman out of place in the world but entirely at home in the confines of her abode. Lynda Baron is superbly sweet as Aunt Lion, the tough old spinster who runs the house where Stevie lives. Men played little more than an accessory role in Stevie’s life and aspects of that are summed up in the three characters played by Chris Larkin, whose best moment comes when he recites Smith’s Drowning, Not Waving, possibly her most famous poem. It’s a beautiful moment in a quietly engaging, gentle play.
The production is blessed with good acting, impeccable timing and a sense of style, mischief and swagger which accentuates its high points. Pretty much everyone is trying to best everyone else with an armoury of quips, quibbles and quizzical asides and, happily, Luscombe seeks to make the most of this.