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  • Henry Longstaff

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - UK Tour - New Wimbledon Theatre

The four-wheeled family favourite is back on the road

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang UK Tour
Photography - Paul Coltas


The beloved and somewhat sentient car is racing its way across the country in a brand new tour and it is nothing short of an utter delight. Capturing the whimsical wonder and rekindling the innate nostalgia this production is a treat for all ages with the ability to soothe even the coldest of souls. 

For those unfamiliar the Sherman Brothers’s musical focuses on the widowed Caractacus Potts and his two children as they rescue a once infamous but now caput race car, restoring it to her former glory. The jealous Vulgarians equipped with vague European accents want the car for themselves however and will not stop in the quest to steal her, the sickly Baron and Baroness dispatching spies in the process. Adventure and spectacles ensue as the plucky Potts family, aided by the charming Truly Scrumptious, save the day with their trusty motorcar Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (named for the noise her engine makes). 

The beauty of this production is its incredible ability to strike at the heart of the material. Yes, there are bombastic plot lines and ludicrous villains but it uncovers the story of a lonely father trying to do right by his family. It is welcoming and heartfelt, bursting with humour (not just for the children) and a marvellous design from Morgan Large that brings out a childlike wonder in all of us. Seeing Chitty fly for the first time unlocked childhood memories long forgotten and no doubt formed some new memories for the younger audience members. 

The cast is undoubtedly stacked with talent, helmed by Adam Garcia as Caractacus Potts who fits the quirky, fatherly role perfectly. He strikes a fine balance between eccentric inventor and loving father and is captivating to watch. Accompanied by Ellie Nunn’s Truly Scrumptious the pair are delectable, Nunn kind and level-headed, excelling during the opening of act two with “Lovely, Lonely Man” as the car soars through the night’s sky. At polar opposite them in terms of character are the grotesque Baron and Baroness of Vulgaria performed by Martin Callaghan and Bibi Jay (covering for the indisposed Jenny Gayner) respectively. They are over the top and cruel, forming the perfect duo to loathe and laugh at - ‘Chu-chi Face” is equally sickening and brilliant. 

Charlie Brooks fresh from her run in Ocean at the End of the Lane takes on the role of the Childcatcher, a heel that has tormented many in the past. In this production, the fear levels are more subdued and mildly underwhelming but Brooks does what they can in their brief appearance. It is Michael Joseph and Adam Stafford who steal many of the scenes however as the bumbling and cheeky Vulgarian spies. As a team, they are fairly useless but share a hilarious chemistry and they fumble their harebrained schemes to capture the car - a highlight of the show.

Musical Director Jessica Viner has the orchestra sounding magnificent from the overture right through to the bows as they navigate their way through the Sherman Brothers’s nostalgic score. “Me Ol’ Bamboo” and “Hushabye Mountain” have rarely sounded so good as the slick ensemble delivers top-notch vocals and choreography. 

This is undoubtedly one of the best touring shows on offer right now and a perfect family adventure for all ages. Whether you are discovering the magic of Chitty for the first time or rediscovering it as a grown-up, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang remains as delightful as ever. A must see family classic.

Currently touring until May 2025 - Tickets

Photography - Paul Coltas

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