Chitty Premiere Lifts Off at Palladium, 16 AprDate: 4 October 2001
The stage premiere of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, adapted by Jeremy Sams and directed by Adrian Noble, will commence previews at London's Palladium on 19 March 2002 before opening on 16 April 2002. The original music is by the Sherman brothers, who will be adding to their movie score for the stage production. Full casting details are expected to be announced shortly.
The production will fill the Palladium's vacancy left by the closure of The King and I. Chitty's co-producer and general manager Michael Rose has been working for nine years to bring the project to fruition. He recently told Whatsonstage.com that 'it's a big show and it's going to need a big theatre, and yes the Palladium is big'. Rose promises the event will be a 'stage spectacular' thanks to some new technological design feats. He was also keen to stress that the show is not a revival, but a major stage premiere. The cast reportedly contains around 20 children in a cast of over 40, with a flying car in tow too.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was written by Ian Fleming and originally published in hardback in three parts. The story concerns a madcap inventor named Caractacus Potts, a widower who delights in eccentric gadgets. He sets about restoring an old car from a scrap heap with the help of his two children, and a lady friend named Truly Scrumptious. However, when the car develops magical properties it comes under the evil eye of Baron Bomburst.
The story was turned into a hugely popular movie in 1968, starring Dick Van Dyke and Sally Ann Howes. The Sherman brothers, Richard M and Robert B, were Oscar-nominated for the title song. The producer was Albert R Broccoli and the director was Ken Hughes. Children's writer Roald Dahl adapted James Bond-creator Fleming's text for the screenplay.
Jeremy Sams studied music at Cambridge, and has worked in various mediums including lyricist, composer and translator. His compositional credits include the BBC film of Persuasion, and he has provided the score for over 35 theatre productions including works with the Royal Shakespeare Company and The Old Vic.
Adrian Noble, the Artistic Director of the RSC, faced a major financial deficit when he first arrived at the company. He turned that around and helped restore the RSC's fortunes via a host of major works. Recent RSC projects included the This England history plays, which offered a chronological cycle running from Richard II onwards. Noble has also served as an Associate Director for the RSC and previously held posts at the Bristol Old Vic and Manchester Royal Exchange.
- by Gareth Thompson