MAGICAL MUSICAL: Matthew Dennis and Catherine Schwarten star as Caractacus Potts and Truly Scrumptious in RMU's production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
MAGICAL MUSICAL: Matthew Dennis and Catherine Schwarten star as Caractacus Potts and Truly Scrumptious in RMU's production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Allan Reinikka ROK271016achitty2

REVIEW: Teamwork makes this dream show truly magical

IN A dimly-lit theatre, the devilish childcatcher still sends a chill up my spine.

The sinister villain, undoubtedly one of the nastiest in musical history, is the cherry on top of the Rockhampton Musical Union's superb production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Despite this absolutely chilling character, perfectly portrayed by Jesse Warren, the show is one for the whole family.

EXCLUSIVE VISION: Boris the Spy introduces Rockhampton to Vulgaria's Baron Bomburst

 

Eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts would do anything to make his children happy, working on all manner of machines to raise the 30 shillings needed to save a once champion racing car from the scrap heap.

Matthew Dennis is brilliant in the role of loving father to Jeremy and Jemima, performing a particularly memorable rendition of one of the most touching songs in the show, Hushabye Mountain.

With wild imaginations and an eye for adventure, the Potts children (played in this review performance by Tayah Ellis and Dominic Chavasse, but double cast with Ella Kibblewhite and Luca Mella), are charming on stage and a real credit to Rockhampton's new generation of performing stars.

 

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Allan Reinikka ROK271016achitty1

The family are joined in their adventures by Truly Scrumptious, a delightfully fiery woman who isn't about to let Mr Potts tell her what to do.

Catherine Schwarten is truly lovely in this role, beautifully bringing to life one of my favourite musical scenes in the closing stages of the musical.

While the musical is focused on the Potts family, the real star is undoubtedly the magical, fantastical car which lends the production its name.

Rockhampton set designer Ross James and his construction team have done a phenomenal job creating Chitty, a floating and flying car which is bound to reel in a whole new generation of fans through this production.

See the show

  • Friday and Saturday night from 7.30pm at the Pilbeam Theatre
  • Saturday and Sunday matinee from 1.30pm
  • Book tickets at seeitlive.com.au, at the box office or on 4927 4111

It's not just the Potts family who get to enjoy Chitty in this show though, with the sinister Baron and Baroness Bomburst of Vulgaria keen to get their hands on the extraordinary machine.

They put their most Vulgar spies on the job, but a case of mistaken identity with Grandpa Potts sets their plans awry.

 

The Vulgarian characters and Grandpa Potts (Dean Netherwood) are where the true comedic genius of this musical shine through.

Both Joshua Langdon and Nadene Housman are delightful in their roles as the Baron and Baroness, humorously evil and with more than enough sass to keep every generation entertained.

But it was spies Boris and Goran, played by Austin Burrows and Kaylene Adams, who stole the show for me.

The pair provided plenty of bumbling comedy, with an edge sure to keep the adults giggling long after the joke has finished for the children.

 

ACTING ENGLISH: Austin Burrows and Kaylene Adams as bumbling spies Boris and Goran.
ACTING ENGLISH: Austin Burrows and Kaylene Adams as bumbling spies Boris and Goran. Allan Reinikka ROK271016achitty1

The wider ensemble casts, both adults and children, are also key to creating such a sleek, professional production with all involved performing brilliantly throughout.

Rockhampton should embrace the opportunity to see some of the region's most talented performers in a musical which will have everyone humming for days after the final curtain call.

An entertaining romp through a childhood fantasy, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang really offers something for adults and children alike, especially those who are willing to embrace the magic of this fantasmagorical musical.



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