Well it’s Saturday 13th August 2016, and I’m back in the Bay at Cardiff’s Millenium Centre for two more performances of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
During my working week I downloaded (with i books of course) a copy of Carrie Hope Fletcher’s new book ‘On the other side’. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. I struggled to put it down and actually finished reading it 24 hrs after I started. A wonderfully written piece of literature and totally blew me away. I laughed, cried and really got so into the book so much, I’m re reading it, as it’s so good. Not only is Carrie an amazing singer with a beautiful angelic voice, she can write a really good novel as well. I look forward to her next book, and her next musical role after Chitty.
Today I need to mention how good the set for the show is. It’s well constructed with a giant windmill frontage as its base. The use of projection imagery adds to the quality of the show, especially on ‘Hushabye mountain’ where a moon and yacht drawn on the windmills interior wall literally comes to life in front of your eyes. The scene is so beautiful, with Lee Mead singing as well, it reduces me to tears every time.
Imagery plays a vital part in all the car scenes as well. (I have to say the car itself is just magnificent, and gleams from all sides as it manoeuvres around a fixed stage on its very own base). I love the way the car follows the scenery as it turns on its axis, such well choreographed scenes by the technical department of the show. It makes you appreciate just how much effort goes into this musical to make it so polished day in day out, for the audience to wow at every performance. And that’s just act one.
In act two the set is a little more easier to manage with roll on pieces. Except for, of course, Chitty herself, where we have the full regalia laid out for her, as we head to the finale. The sewer scene is another of my favourite sets and actually looks like it’s supposed to, only larger and cleaner. A really good set, like this, can help to make the audience bond with the show, drag them in and make them feel ‘one of the family’, so to speak, as this clearly does for me anyway. I think that’s another reason why I see so many shows, quite a lot of times, in any particular run.
Couple the set and Chitty herself, with the fabulous singing voices of Lee,Carrie, the two amazing child actors (who play Jeremy and Jemima) and all the cast, a superb storyline (that almost everyone knows and loves), easy to remember songs played wonderfully by the orchestra and you get this finished product, which dazzles and delights throughout.
To finish off tonight I have to say that the two performances I watched today were outstanding. It really made my whole day to view these, and can’t wait to come back tomorrow for one more show this week.