REVIEW: Eastenders stars and Lee Mead make Chitty Chitty Bang Bang a soaraway success at Theatre Royal.

Grandpa Potts. Photo by Alastair Muir
Grandpa Potts. Photo by Alastair Muir
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A star-studded cast and West End pazazz helped to make Chitty Chitty Bang Bang a soaraway success at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal.

We all know the story from the hit movie from 1968 starring Dick Van Dyke with a screenplay written by Roald Dahl.

Photo by Alastair Muir

Photo by Alastair Muir

But the tale of how a down-on-his luck inventor, widower and father-of-two bring a wreck of a race car to life that turns out to be able to fly him and his family off on a fantasy adventure, is a tough one to bring to the stage.

But the production at the Theatre Royal managed it brilliantly — something encapsulated in the way Chitty took to the air with video images projected onto the backdrop.

Lee Mead, of ‘Joseph’ and ‘Casualty’ fame took on the lead role of inventor Caractacus Potts with smooth and impressive style.

While former Albert Square regulars Michelle Collins and Shaun Williamson hammed it up as Baron and Baroness Bomburst of Vulgaria — a country where children are banned.

But for me the star turns were provided by second-tier cast members Scott Paige and Sam Harrison, as hilarious and hapless spies Boris and Goran, and Andy Hockley as Grandpa Potts.

The show is a triumph and let’s not forget the Child Catcher (Matt Gillett) who sent a chill down the spine in the true traditions of the iconic character.

Absolutely outstanding.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal until Sunday May 29. Click here or visit www.trch.co.uk for tickets and information.