|Chitty Chitty Bang Bang|
Poster for Original Broadway Production
|Music||Richard M. Sherman|
Robert B. Sherman
|Lyrics||Robert B. Sherman|
Richard M. Sherman
|Premiere||April 16, 2002: London Palladium|
|Productions||2002 West End |
2005 National UK Tour
2008/09 National US Tour
2009 National UK Tour
2012/13 Australian National Tour
2015/16 National UK Tour
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a musical with music and lyrics written by Richard and Robert Sherman and a book by Jeremy Sams. It is based on the 1968 film of the same name written by Roald Dahl, Ken Hughes, and Richard Maibaum, which in turn is based on the book of the same name by Ian Fleming. The show premiered at the London Palladium on April 16, 2002 directed by Adrian Noble before opening on Broadway in 2005.
Original London production (2002-5)
The musical premiered in the West End at the London Palladium on 16 April 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 was directed by Adrian Noble (at the time the artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company) with musical staging and choreography by Gillian Lynne and featured Michael Ball (Caractacus Potts), Emma Williams (Truly Scrumptious), Anton Rodgers (Grandpa Potts), George Gillies (Jeremy), Carrie Fletcher (Jemima) and Graham Hoadly (The Commentator). Closing 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. 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 (2005)
The Broadway production opened on 28 April 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". 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), Ellen Marlow (Jemima Potts), and Henry Hodges (Jeremy Potts). The Broadway production closed on 31 December 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." 
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. These revisions have since become part of the licensed script. The original US 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.
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, adding 24 more shows to a run which was originally planned to end on 18 November 2007.
In 2009, the original production toured the UK until 2010 on a smaller scale, directed by original director Adrian Noble and choreographed by David Morgan. This tour used the script revisions used for the US tour by Ray Roderick.
A brand new production by Music and Lyrics Productions opened at the West Yorkshire Playhouse for the Christmas 2015 season, directed by artistic director, James Brining and choreographed by Stephen Mear. Following the run at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, the production toured the UK and Ireland starring Jason Manford and Lee Mead as Caractacus Potts opening at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton (10 - 21 February 2016) before stopping in Dublin (24 February - 13 March 2016), Belfast (16 - 27 March 2016), Stoke (30 March - 9 April 2016), Southend (13 - 24 April 2016), Milton Keynes (4 - 14 May 2016), Nottingham (18 - 29 May 2016), Newcastle (1 - 12 June 2016), Sheffield (29 June - 17 July 2016), Wimbledon (20 - 30 July 2016), Cardiff (3 - 21 August 2016), Canterbury (24 August - 3 September 2016), Birmingham (7 - 18 September 2016), Northampton (21 September - 2 October 2016), Edinburgh (5 - 16 October 2016), Glasgow (19 - 29 October 2016), Woking (9 - 19 November 2016), Salford (6 December 2016 - 15 January 2017) and ended in February 2017 at the Bristol Hippodrome (25 January - 4 February 2017). On 20 March 2020 Charles Hanson of Hanson Auctioneers in Staffordshire announced the firm would sell approximately 120 items, including the flying car, from this production on 20 April.
The Australian national production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang opened on 17 November 2012 at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney, featuring David Hobson and Rachael Beck. The German premiere of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang took place on 30 April 2014 at the Prinzregententheater in Munich, translated by Frank Thannhaeuser, directed by Josef E. Koepplinger and choreographed by Ricarda Regina Ludigkeit. The same team staged another production at State Theatre on Gaertnerplatz in Spring 2020.
*Songs were omitted for the 2008 US tour. "Kiddy-Widdy-Winkies" was replaced with a version of "Lovely Lonely Man" from the original film, sung by Truly Scrumptious.
|Character||Original London Cast
|Original Broadway Cast
|First UK tour and Singapore
|First US Tour
|Second UK Tour
|Original Australian Cast
|Third UK Tour
|Caractacus Potts||Michael Ball||Raúl Esparza||Tim Flavin
|Steve Wilson||Darren Bennett||David Hobson||Jon Robyns |
|Truly Scrumptious||Emma Williams||Erin Dilly||Marissa Dunlop||Kelly McCormick||Rachel Stanley
|Rachael Beck||Amy Griffiths |
Carrie Hope Fletcher
|Grandpa Potts||Anton Rodgers||Philip Bosco||Paul Greenwood
|Dick Decareau||John Griffiths||Peter Carroll||Andy Hockley|
|Jeremy Potts||Luke Newberry
|Henry Hodges||Tom Hunter
Zachary Carter Sayle
|Depended on location|
|Jemima Potts||Carrie Hope Fletcher
|Ellen Marlow||Leyci Wightman
|Depended on location|
|Baron Bomburst||Brian Blessed||Marc Kudisch||Sean Blowers
|George Dvorsky||Edward Peel||Alan Brough
|Don Gallagher |
|Baroness Bomburst||Nichola McAuliffe||Jan Maxwell||Jane Gurnett
|Elizabeth Ward||Kim Ismay||Jennifer Vuletic||Tamsin Carroll |
|Childcatcher||Richard O'Brien||Kevin Cahoon||Robin Askwith
Ian 'H' Watkins
|Oliver Wadsworth||Dean Maynard||Tyler Coppin||Stephen Matthews |
|Toymaker||Edward Petherbridge||Frank Raiter||Richard Owens||Richard G. Rodgers||Tony Jackson||Phillip Gould
|Boris||David Ross||Robert Sella||Robert Traynor||Dirk Lumbard||Richard Ashton||Todd Goddard||Sam Harrison|
|Goran||Emil Wolk||Chip Zien||Nigel Garton||Scott Cote||Nigel Garton||George Kapiniaris||Scott Paige|
|Lord Scrumptious||David Henry||Kenneth Kantor||Duncan Smith||George Dvorsky||Edward Peel||Alan Brough
|Don Gallagher |
- ^ Actor also plays 'Junkman' after changes to the 2008 US tour.
- ^ Actor also plays 'Lord Scrumptious' after changes to the 2008 US tour.
- ^ Actress also plays 'Miss Phillips' after changes to the 2008 US tour.
- ^ Actor also plays 'Coggins' after changes to the 2005 UK tour.
- ^ Actor also plays 'Baron Bomburst' after changes to the 2008 US tour.
Notable London replacements
- Caractacus Potts: Gary Wilmot, Jason Donovan, Brian Conley
- Truly Scrumptious: Caroline Sheen, Scarlett Strallen, Jo Gibb
- Grandpa Potts: Russ Abbott, Tony Adams
- Baron Bomburst: Victor Spinetti, Christopher Biggins
- Baroness Bomburst: Sandra Dickinson, Louise Gold
- Childcatcher: Paul O'Grady, Peter Polycarpou, Derek Griffiths, Lionel Blair, Stephen Gately, Wayne Sleep, Alvin Stardust
- Toymaker: Freddie Lees
- Boris: Richard Long
- Goran: Christopher Ryan
Awards and nominations
Original London production
|2003||Whatsonstage.com Awards||Best New Musical||Nominated|
|Best Actor in a Musical||Michael Ball||Nominated|
|Best Actress in a Musical||Emma Williams||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress in a Musical||Nichola McAuliffe||Nominated|
|Best Set Design||Anthony Ward||Won|
|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
|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|
2015–17 UK tour
|2017||Whatsonstage.com Awards||Best Actress in a Musical||Carrie Hope Fletcher||Nominated|
|Best Regional Production (at the New Wimbledon Theatre)||Nominated|
- "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang the Musical". Eon productions. Archived from the original on 2009-12-08. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
- Brantley, Ben. "She's a Diva on Wheels of Song." The New York Times, April 29, 2005. Retrieved February 29, 2008.
- 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
- 2005 "Broadway box office grosses for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" Broadwayworld.com
- Gans, Andrew. "'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' Launches National Tour in Florida Nov. 18". Playbill, November 18, 2008
- "Car at Garofalo" strawberryfieldsthetribute.com, accessed May 24, 2015
- Majid, Hasnita A. ""Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" musical to extend run till Dec 9." Channel NewsAsia.com, November 1, 2007. Retrieved February 29, 2008.
- "Chitty Chitty to open with a big Bang Bang in Singapore." MI6 News, October 4, 2007. Retrieved February 29, 2008.
- Mayo, Douglas (October 16, 2015). "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 2016 Tour Tickets". British Theatre.com.
- Sharman, Laura; Rodger, James (March 20, 2020). "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang stage show props up for sale - including flying car". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
- Bennett, Sally (September 7, 2011). "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang coming to Australia". Herald Sun. Melbourne. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
- "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang". Gärtnerplatztheater. Retrieved April 18, 2020.