Catch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at Milton Keynes Theatre

Posted 11th June 2024

Belt up for a fantasmagorical show!

More than two decades since the delightful Chitty Chitty Bang Bang first premiered at the London Palladium, a brand-new scrumptious production will hit the stage of Milton Keynes Theatre for a flying visit in July.

Ian Fleming wrote the book more than 50 years ago, and the version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang soon coming to town will be an amalgamation of his original story, the film version by Roald Dahl, and the previous stage production.

“For me, Chitty is like an old friend,” said director Thom Southerland, “I used to watch it as a child and was in fact in the audience at the very first preview of the Palladium production, so it’s a show that has always stuck with me and it now feels very special to be putting my own stamp on it.”

In Chitty Chitty Bang Bang you will meet absent-minded inventor Caractacus Potts who restores a broken-down old racing car with the help of his children Jemima and Jeremy. Soon the family discover the car has magical powers, and along with the delectable Truly Scrumptious, they end up on a hilarious fantastical adventure to far-off lands.

Olivier-nominee Adam Garcia is taking on the role of Caractacus. A stage favourite, he has previously delivered the goods in Saturday Night Fever and Kiss Me, Kate, and on the big screen his appearances include Death on the Nile, Murder on the Orient Express and Coyote Ugly.
The role of Grandpa Potts will be played by Liam Fox, who spent a fair amount of time supping in The Woolpack – well, he did appear in more than 1000 episodes of Emmerdale, after all. He also has a long list of other TV credits – from Cold Feet and Corrie to Dinnerladies and Clocking off.

Charlie Brooks is the Child Catcher, and she knows a thing or two about playing a villain – having made the role of Janine Butcher one of soap-land’s best known baddies.

It’s a solid cast, but just how do you set about bringing a fresh look to such a beloved show?

“Although this is a story that is very well-known and loved by audiences, there are also aspects of the original story which are lesser known and which we will be showcasing in our version,” Thom explained, “Of course, our show will still have all the wonderful parts that we remember from the film. Caractacus Potts will still have his bamboo stick to dance to Me Ol’ Bamboo, and we will be dancing through Scrumptious’s Sweet Factory to Toot Sweets, but we will also be bringing something that feels fresh and new within this story and have even added some new songs.”

Those songs are superb too, of course, with the new material joining the award-winning title song and other Sherman Brothers penned aces including Hushabye Mountain and Truly Scrumptious.

“One thing we definitely won’t be changing, though, is Chitty herself,” Thom promised, “She will be as spectacular as ever and I can’t wait to see her take flight.”

Audiences are in for a treat, the director promises: “This is a wildly entertaining show which all the family can enjoy. It has beautifully lavish sets and costumes, phenomenal special effects and, in my opinion, one of the greatest musical scores ever written.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to have this team in the rehearsal room. It’s been a total joy…We have a phenomenal cast who are really helping to create a unique retelling of this story on stage.”

There is much that could be written about the wonder of this show, but if Thom had to pick just three words, which three would they be?
“…extravagant, joyful and, dare I say, fantasmagorical!”

Catch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at Milton Keynes Theatre
from Tuesday, July 2 – Sunday, July 7.
To book tickets visit