Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (musical)

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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Poster for Original Broadway Production
Music Richard M. Sherman
Robert B. Sherman
Lyrics Robert B. Sherman
Richard M. Sherman
Book Jeremy Sams
Basis Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
1968 film
Productions 2002 West End
2005 Broadway
2005 National UK Tour
2007 Singapore
2008/09 National US Tour
2009 National UK Tour
2012/13 Australian National Tour
2014 Munich
2015/16 National UK Tour

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, also known as Chitty the Musical, is a stage musical based on the 1968 film produced by Albert R. Broccoli. The music and lyrics were written by Richard and Robert Sherman with book by Jeremy Sams.


Original London production

The musical premiered in the West End at the London Palladium on April 16, 2002 with six new songs by the Sherman Brothers who wrote the original Academy Award-nominated title and song score as well. The West End production, directed by Adrian Noble with musical staging and choreography by Gillian Lynne, closed in September 2005. It was the longest running show ever at the London Palladium, taking in over £70 million in its three and a half year run.[1] The Palladium's famous revolving stage (as seen on Sunday Night at the London Palladium) was entirely taken out to accommodate the technology and storage space for the flying Chitty car, which itself holds the Guinness World Record as the most expensive stage prop, costing £750,000.

Original Broadway production

The Broadway production opened on April 28, 2005 at the Lyric Theatre (then the Hilton Theatre), garnering good reviews only for the lavish sets. Ben Brantley in the New York Times noted that the show "naggingly recalls the cold, futurist milieus of movies like 'Modern Times' and 'Metropolis,' in which machines rule the universe" and featured songs that sounded "not unlike what you might hear in sing-along hour in a pre-K class".[2] The production was again directed by Adrian Noble with choreography by Gillian Lynne and starred Raúl Esparza (Caractacus Potts), Erin Dilly (Truly Scrumptious), Philip Bosco (Grandpa Potts), Marc Kudisch (Baron Bomburst), Jan Maxwell (Baroness Bomburst) and Henry Hodges (Jeremy Potts). The Broadway production closed on December 31, 2005 after 34 previews and 285 regular performances. According to producer Nicholas Paleologos, "A substantial portion of the $15 million (initial investment) will not be recouped on Broadway." [3][4] A US National tour began in November 2008 at the Broward Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, with a revised script by Ray Roderick, who is the tour director.[5]

The original broadway touring prop car is now under exclusive ownership by Tony Garofalo of New York City, released by Big League Productions and currently being used for private display use as well as fundraising events. This prop vehicle is a full sized version and fully equipped with many hydraulically activated stage tricks, such as surround stage mounted lighting, retractable wings, and spinning 45 degree tilt tires. [6]

Subsequent UK touring productions

Since closing in London, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang toured around the UK, stopping in Sunderland (9 December 2005- 4 March 2006), Manchester (20 March 2006- 10 June 2006), Birmingham (23 June 2006- 2 September 2006), Liverpool (18 September 2006- 18 November 2006), Edinburgh (1 December 2006- 24 February 2007), Bristol (9 March 2007- 9 June 2007) and Southampton (25 June- 15 September 2007), Bradford (11 February 2008 - 5 April 2008), Sunderland (17 April 2008 - 7 June 2008), Cardiff (3 July 2008 - 30 August 2008). The UK Tour visited Asia for the first time when it opened on 2 November 2007 in Singapore's Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay. Encouraging ticket sales resulted in an extension of the show to 9 December,[7] adding 24 more shows to a run which was originally planned to end on 18 November 2007.[8]

A brand new production by Music and Lyrics Productions is currently touring the UK, directed by James Brining and choreographed by Stephen Mear, following a run at the West Yorkshire Playhouse over Christmas 2015/16. It is scheduled to tour until Christmas 2016/17 at the Lowry Theatre in Salford.

Australian production

The Australian national production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang opened on November 17, 2012 at the Capitol Theatre, Sydney, Australia.

German production

The German premiere of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang took place on April 30, 2014 at the State Theatre on Gaertnerplatz in Munich/Germany, translated by Frank Thannhaeuser, directed by Josef E. Koepplinger and choreographed by Ricarda Regina Ludigkeit.


Notes: In the 2009 tour, the following songs are omitted: "Come to the Funfair", "Kiddy-Widdy-Winkies", "Us Two/Chitty Prayer". "Kiddy-Widdy-Winkies" was replaced with a version of "Lovely Lonely Man" from the original film, sung by Truly Scrumptious. The overall script is also changed to more closely match the film, notably, missing the childcatcher tricking the family by dressing as the Toymaker and Grandpa. In the 2012 Australian production,"Kiddie-Widdy-Winkies" was put back in the line-up of songs.



Original London cast

Children (Members of ensemble understudy Jeremy/Jemima)

Jordana Belaiche, Arron Bell, James Burgess, Lauren Calpin, Adam Cartwright, Alastair Crosswell, Corinne Douglas, Megan Edwards, Kachann Ellis, Patrick Harper, Jamie-Ray Hartshorne, Lucy Horley, Stephanie King, Georgina Osen, Phoebe Oliver, Matthew Protheroe, Daisy Steere, and Callum Waller. or: Jordan Bethell, Emily Deamer, Jenny Driver, Eliza Deyton, Roscoe Fenton, Georgia Figgis, Peter Humphreys, Hannah Kenneally-Muir, Esther Langley, Jessica Morris, Thomas Morrison, Jamie O’Sullivan, Myles Senior-Campbell, Zoe Shand, Ryan Wright, or: Imogen Bailey, Embla Bishop, Abigail Climer, Amy Cornwall, Ciara Costello, Oliver Hutley, Alexander Kersley, Conor Mannion, Mark O’Dea, Megan Puckey, Chloe Rich, Billy Roberts, Hayley Smith, Myles Taylor, Katie Walker, Jessica Woods, Karim Zeoual, Mitchell Zhangazzha.

Final London cast[edit]

Many respected British actors have appeared in various roles during the London production run, including: Brian Conley, Gary Wilmot, Caroline Sheen, Scarlett Strallen, Sandra Dickinson, Louise Gold, Victor Spinetti, Christopher Biggins, Paul O'Grady, Peter Polycarpou, Lionel Blair, Stephen Gately, Wayne Sleep, Russ Abbot and Derek Griffiths.

The original UK Tour cast (2005) starred Tim Flavin, Marissa Dunlop, Robin Askwith, Paul Greenwood, Sean Blowers,Jane Gurnett, Nigel Garton and Robert Traynor.

The final UK Tour cast (2008) starred Aled Jones, Rachel Stanley, Ian Watkins and Tony Adams.

The Second UK Tour cast (2015/16) starred Jon Robyns, Jason Manford and Lee Mead as Caractacus Potts, Amy Griffiths, Carrie Hope Fletcher and Charlotte Wakefield as Truly Scrumptious, Andy Hockley as Grandpa Potts, Stephen Matthews, Martin Kemp, Matt Gillett and Jos Vantyler as The Childcatcher, Don Gallagher, Phill Jupitus and Shaun Williamson as Baron Bomburst and Lord Scrumptious and Tamsin Carroll, Michelle Collins and Claire Sweeney as Baroness Bomburst.


Original Australian Cast


German premiere cast
  • Peter Lesiak - Caractacus Potts
  • Nadine Zeintl - Truly Scrumptious
  • Frank Berg - Grandpa Potts
  • Marinus Hohmann - Jeremy Potts
  • Amelie Spielmann - Jemima Potts
  • Erwin Windegger - Baron Bomburst
  • Sigrid Hauser - Baroness Bomburst
  • Markus Meyer - The Child Catcher
  • David Jakobs - Boris
  • Hannes Muik - Goran
  • Frank Winkels - Toymaker
  • Alexander Franzen - Lord Scrumptious

Awards and nominations[edit]

Original London production[edit]

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
2002 Laurence Olivier Award Best New Musical Nominated
Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical Nichola McAuliffe Nominated
Best Set Design Anthony Ward Nominated

Original Broadway production[edit]

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
2005 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical Erin Dilly Nominated
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical Marc Kudisch Nominated
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical Jan Maxwell Nominated
Best Scenic Design Anthony Ward Nominated
Best Lighting Design Mark Henderson Nominated


  1. ^ "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang the Musical". Eon productions. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  2. ^ Brantley, Ben. "She's a Diva on Wheels of Song." New York Times, April 29, 2005. Retrieved February 29, 2008.
  3. ^ Boroff, Philip (Bloomberg News). "Two underrated Broadway musicals deserved better: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Sweet Charity may take to the road", Ottawa Citizen. ARTS; Pg. D4. December 26, 2005
  4. ^ 2005 "Broadway box office grosses for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"
  5. ^ Gans, Andrew. "'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' Launches National Tour in Florida Nov. 18"., November 18, 2008
  6. ^ "Car at Garofalo", accessed May 24, 2015
  7. ^ Majid, Hasnita A. ""Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" musical to extend run till Dec 9." Channel, November 1, 2007. Retrieved February 29, 2008.
  8. ^ "Chitty Chitty to open with a big Bang Bang in Singapore." MI6 News, October 4, 2007. Retrieved February 29, 2008.
  9. ^ Kristy Symonds (8 September 2013). "Review: The stage production Chitty Chitty Bang Bang lights up Perth". Perth Now. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 

External links[edit]