Review: BLOC production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the Bristol Hippodrome

Posted on Sep 19 2018 - 3:05pm by Claire Herbaux

I don’t want to start with the obvious ‘truly scrumptious’ – but it is.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is such a feel-good family show you can only leave smiling and feeling warm and fuzzy. What else would you expect from such a classic?

Seeing all the children in the audience, excited to sing along (dancing along, in some cases), you could have mistaken it from Christmas time. It felt like the warm-up to panto season and we all know how happy cheery the panto is!

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a fitting show for BLOC prodcuction as they always have a big cast and it is great to see the dance numbers at the start and end, but also in the sweet factory and at the fun fair when thirty or more people are on stage.

Creating a show such as this one – and probably any show based in the early 20th century and involving a flying car – is quite a technical challenge but the musical numbers let you forget about all this and look at it from a child’s point of view, focusing on the two little children (Lily Beacon and Jack Spencer) enjoying their magical car, Caractacus Potts (Craig Rees-Cavendish) and Truly Scumptious (Grace Macdonald).

Comical Baron and Baroness Bomburst (Ian Taylor and Lizzy Westney) bring me back to my panto analogy. They are over the top, whimsical and goofy and brilliantly portrayed. Especially in the second act when they are in the Baronial Apartment, you could hear the audience laughing out loud.

A personal favourite was the child catcher. Whether your child will find him scary or funny will depend on the child, but to me, Craig Sillick was absolutely brilliant (as a child, I would have been scared, but I was scared of most things). Sillick put his heart and soul into every word and move on stage and was the star of the second act.

This is definitely a show you want to take the entire family to see!

Thw show runs until Saturday September 22 at the Bristol Hippodrome.

Evening performances are at 7.30pm, matinee on Wednesday and Saturday at 2.30pm.

Tickets are available  from £22.90 (concessions available at certain performances).

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