Chitty Chitty Bang Bang****: the car is the star is this evergreen musical

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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is hurtling towards its 60th anniversary, and it still has the ability to capture audiences as the car soars above their heads.

Press night at the Playhouse Theatre culminated with a standing audition, with Chitty rightly taking a bow. The car is the star, after all – along with the tech team behind the scenes which create a little bit of theatre magic every night. Ticket details here,

Chitty formed a huge part of my childhood.It was one of the first films I can recall seeing at the cinema, and the child catcher scared the bejeezus out of me until about the age of 38 - Cruella DeVille from 101 Dalmatians was another that had me scurrying under the covers. If they ever got together, I’d need counselling …

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The big song and dance numbers were magical, but it’s funny how time plays tricks with your grey matter. The child catcher actually had a small role in the great scheme of things - something that only struck me at press night.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is at the Playhouse Theatre (Pic: Paul Coltas)Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is at the Playhouse Theatre (Pic: Paul Coltas)
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is at the Playhouse Theatre (Pic: Paul Coltas)

In a twist from the original movie, Elaine C. Smith stepped into the role with enough malevolence to at least send a shiver down the spines of youngsters in the audience - and the sight of her mobile prison sparked so many memories.

Adam Garcia is perfectly cast as Caractacus Potts, the inventor pursuing his ideas while also bringing up two children after the loss of their mother. His relationship with Truly Scrumptious is perfect, and there is panto-esque comedy and glorious word play from the spies Boris (Adam Stafford) and Goran (Michael Joseph), while Bibi Jay and Hadrian Delacey bounced off each other delightfully s the Baron and Baroness.

Fox brought out the eccentricity of Grandpa Potts, with a full on cockney-esque cor blimey guv’nor rendition of The Roses Of Success - a big number only topped by the sheer exuberance of Me 'ol Bam-Boo. Add in a cast of youngsters who give it their all, and you have all the ingredients of a smashing show.

> Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Bang is at the Playhouse Theatre in Edinburgh until Saturday.

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