Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the Kings Theatre review: ‘The set and performances wouldn’t be out of place on a professional tour’ The Kings Theatre, Southsea

CCADS is performing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at The Kings Theatre, Southsea from November 1-3
CCADS is performing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at The Kings Theatre, Southsea from November 1-3

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang; the 1968 film starring Dick Van Dyke and his spectacular ‘fine four-fendered friend’.

CCADS take on the challenge of bringing this family favourite to life in Southsea this weekend.

You’d be forgiven for forgetting you’re in the hands of an amateur theatre company from the minute you take your seat. On opening night, the theatre was packed and the audience was clapping along from the overture.

The set is nothing short of sensational and wouldn’t look out of place on a professional tour. The same can be said for the performances.

John-Paul McCrohon not only founded CCADS and directed this production, but he takes the lead as Caractus Potts. Along with Rhian Gardner, whose voice really was Truly Scrumptious, the pair effortlessly guided the impressive cast through this feel-good musical.

Fans of the film will not be disappointed with many of the songs included such as Toot Sweets, Hushabye Mountain and Me Ol’Bamboo.

Casper Horn and Lilly-Mae Hewett melted hearts as Jeremy and Jemima. With boundless energy and effortless stage presence, rest assured, it won’t be the last time we see these two on such a big stage. The sewer-children also did their many fans proud, convincingly looking petrified of Tony Johnson’s wickedly wonderful portrayal of the Child Catcher.

Matt Sackman and Sean Ridley were clear crowd favourites as the Vulgarian spies. Meanwhile, Sue Rourke and Tony Dart impressed as Baron and Baroness Bomburst, particularly in Chu-Chi Face.

My only criticism is that it was difficult to hear the ensemble. Their animated faces and delightful dancing assured me their performance was equal to their principles. However, sound levels sadly meant their voices were lost in the larger numbers.

Expect plenty of surprises with this ‘fantasmagorical’ evening of entertainment.