Today was Valentine's Day and guess what I was doing? Of course I was spending it with my one true love -- the theatre. And I keep making a joke about this but it is 100% true.
Today this London Theatre Blogger took a break from the West End scene and travelled to the Mayflower in Southampton (I like to play the field a bit! Ha!) to see the touring cast of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
For roughly the first 10 years of my life, I was OBSESSED by this film. Along with Sound of Music, Mary Poppins and Annie, I watched it on repeat and I basically wanted to be Jemima. So to finally see Chitty on stage was pretty amazing.
And I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I became a bit emotional and cried throughout the entirety of the title song. Yup that happened.
That was enough to show me that I had made the right decision in coming this afternoon. When I arrived and saw how many kids were there with me, I almost regretted it but actually they made the whole experience kind of charming. Their giggles at the funny bits were so cute. As was their obvious terror whenever the childcatcher came on stage. Music and projected silhouettes made him pretty creepy and one little girl hid her face by snuggling into her mother every time he was in sight. Bless her.
She was much happier when Jason Manford was on stage who played a wonderful version of Caractacus Potts (Is it just me who can never say that??!) His acting was a little bit OTT but it seemed to suit the children and I was hugely surprised by just how good his voice was. He carried off the melodic, wordy songs with ease and you could hear every syllable. No mean feat in the title song in particular which is a total tongue twister and needs perfect diction for the humour of the song to come across.
The thing about Chitty is that every single song is ridiculously catchy. 8 hours on and I am still humming all the tunes. Not just one or two. All of them. And you don't really get that in musicals any more. I am a sucker for the old musicals and this is definitely one of the best. One which will stay close to my heart forever.
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