Kettering Lighthouse Theatre hosts Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - you will believe a car can fly

Sleek spectacular show brings musical magic to Lighthouse Theatre
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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has flown into Kettering’s Lighthouse Theatre – and it’s an uncategorical, dare I say, a phantasmagorical ride.

Although some may say the star is the car, Kettering Operatic Society Musical Theatre Company (KOSMTC) has not been out-shone by the amazing set, props and gizmos.

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The super staging provided a brilliant backdrop for the spectacular show and to use the vernacular – It's wizard, it's smashing, it's keen!

Josh Pugh as Caratacus Potts - Image copyright of FireSparkle Productions - www.firesparkle.co.ukJosh Pugh as Caratacus Potts - Image copyright of FireSparkle Productions - www.firesparkle.co.uk
Josh Pugh as Caratacus Potts - Image copyright of FireSparkle Productions - www.firesparkle.co.uk

Famously Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, wrote a children's book which later became the hit 1968 film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The movie starring Dick Van Dyke and Sally Anne Howells introduced one of the most nightmarish baddies captured on film to a generation – the notorious creepy Childcatcher. In 2002 the movie became a stage musical.

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But it’s the cast that gleams as bright as the chrome on the four-wheeled, two-winged super car Chitty.

Star and lynchpin of the show is Josh Pugh, captivating as the loveable inventor, Caractacus Potts. Appearing in almost in every scene, his voice soars – with fancy footwork he dances his way as a true leading man. He oozes charisma, showing tender care for his children Jeremy and Jemima, and plucky pizzazz to defeat the dastardly Bombursts.

Curtain call for The Lighthouse Theatre at KOSMTC production of Chitty Chitty Bang BangCurtain call for The Lighthouse Theatre at KOSMTC production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Curtain call for The Lighthouse Theatre at KOSMTC production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
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Katie Morton as Truly Scrumptious is truly scrumptious. The have-a-go heiress falls for Potts and her rendition of ‘Doll on a Music Box’ duetting with Caractacus Potts is a real show-stopping moment.

Louise Wright as the child-hating Baroness and Jon Davis as her chu-chi faced husband are perfect as the hideous Vulgarian despots. Michael Graves and Robin McAlister play daft spies, Boris and Goran, with gusto providing a tremendous comic duo.

Andy Percival delightfully plays the military marvel Grandpa Potts, channelling Lionel Jefferies’ madcap movie performance.

On Thursday night, we saw excellent ‘Team Bang’ in action bringing Charlie McMahon as Jeremy and Megan Noble as Jemima – the children work brilliantly together.

You'll believe a car can flyYou'll believe a car can fly
You'll believe a car can fly
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Joined by a pitch-perfect ensemble, the entire KOSMTC company certainly show you that ‘teamwork can make a dream work’.

It’s not often you have to work with a flying car, but director Peter Darnell skilfully brings set-pieces and much-loved scenes using a talented cast of seemingly hundreds. It’s hard not to join in with much-anticipated favourites including ‘Toot Sweets’, ‘Me Ol' Bamboo’, ‘Posh’, ‘Hushabye Mountain’ and ‘Truly Scrumptious’.

The live orchestra provides an excellent accompaniment under the direction of Rod Iliffe bringing the super soundtrack for impressive dance routines by choreographer Siobhan Amos and magnificent musical numbers.

This production has it all capturing the magic of the story – and the car does actually fly!

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All this wonderful home-grown talent on show on the same day that the theatre – and whole Kettering Conference Centre – announced it would be closing at the end of May.

Maybe a last-ditch effort – and teamwork – could save the venue to give a stage for aspiring actors from the town to tread the boards and take to the Kettering Lighthouse limelight.

Call 01536 414141 for tickets

Standard £20, group of four £70, groups of 10+ £17.50, relaxed performance all tickets £15.

Show times Friday, April 28 at 7.30pm and Saturday, April 29 – 11am (relaxed performance), 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

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