Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Theatre Royal, Brighton, review: Triumphant return for Brighton Theatre Group

Brighton Theatre Group returns to the Theatre Royal with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Brighton Theatre Group returns to the Theatre Royal with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Brighton Theatre Group has made a triumphant return to the Theatre Royal with the fantasmorgorical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a larger than life, crazy, magical production.

Having been selected as one of only a handful of groups to put on the musical, they have taking the production by both hands, directed by Michael Burnie, and delivered an incredible performance, as good as any professional company.

It’s big - with 54 people in the adult cast and a long line-up of children, not to mention the six dogs.

Plus there’s all the staging, including three different cars and, of course, the fine four fendered friend that flies.

Experienced performer Rob Piatt impressed as Caractacus Potts and Hannah Spicer-Williams as Truly Scrumptious could not have done better, especially when she became the mechanical doll on a music box.

Samuel Price and Libby Bradley played young Jeremy and Jemima on the opening night yesterday and they were just marvellous. In fact, all the children were excellent.

It is a colourful, high-energy and somewhat mad musical, with so much going on at times, you can’t help but smile.

The dancers were incredible with their high kicks and fast footwork but for me it was The Roses of Success, featuring Steve Emery as Grandpa Potts, that was the stand out number. The inventors, Zak Craig, Alex Emery, Jonah Mitchell and Matt Wells, just made it so much fun.

There were plenty of laughs, too, thanks to the hilarious Jamie Collins and Graeme Muncer as the spies Boris and Goran.

Their antics had everyone in stitches, especially when they started working their way along two rows of the audience, complete with rubber ring.

The sight of the flying car is pretty amazing but from the front of the stalls, I suspect we did not see it to its full effect. Certainly, the audience behind was clapping and whooping long before we could see the wings come out of Chitty.

This is the first time Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has come to Brighton and who knows when or if we will see it here again, so if you can snap up one of the last few tickets available, do.