Chitty & Reduced Shakespeare Extend BookingsDate: 3 June 2003
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has added six months to its booking period at the West End's London Palladium. The £6.2 million musical, based on the famous 1968 children's film, had its world premiere on 16 April 2002 (previews from 19 March) and had been booking up to 30 September 2003. It's now taking bookings up to 13 March 2004.
The musical currently features Caroline Sheen (as Truly Scrumptious), Victor Spinetti (Baron Bomburst), Sandra Dickinson (Baroness Bomburst), Derek Griffiths (The Child Catcher) and Anton Rodgers (Grandpa Potts). In the lead, playing eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts, original star Michael Ball is contracted to remain until 19 July 2003. New casting is expected to be announced shortly.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is adapted by Jeremy Sams with original music by the Sherman brothers. It's directed by RSC artistic director Adrian Noble, choreographed by Gillian Lynne and designed by Whatsonstage.com Award winner Anthony Ward. The original children's book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, was written by Ian Fleming.
Also in the West End, the Reduced Shakespeare Company has extended its booking by another five months. The American troupe's signature production, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), now in its seventh year, is the West End's longest running comedy. Earlier this year, the RSC's The Bible - The Complete Word of God (abridged) joined it and The Complete History of America (abridged) at the company's West End home, the Criterion Theatre.
All three comedies continue to run in repertory with America playing on Tuesday evenings and The Bible on Thursday evenings and Shakespeare running all other nights of the week. They are now taking bookings up to 31 January 2004.
- by Terri Paddock