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Original Author: Ian Fleming
Book: Jeremy Sams
Music / Lyrics: The Sherman Brothers
Genre: Family comedy
Cast Size: Large, flexible, ensemble
Dancing Requirement:There’s a fair amount of dancing, but it’s very traditional musical theatre/soft shoe style that doesn’t require trained dancers at all. If you do have trained dancers, however, you can easily showcase them.
Ideally Suited for: Community theatres, schools
Everyone’s fine four-fendered friend may soon swoop into a theatre near you! A family musical filled with adventure, kidnapping, and intrigue, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG is now available for Fast-Track Notification. By signing up for this service, you’ll be among the first to know when the title is available for licensing – we’ll send you an email as soon as this title is released!
Based on the beloved 1968 film, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG has an incredibly catchy, upbeat score that audiences will inevitably find themselves singing as they leave the theatre. The joyful melodies are easy enough to learn, speeding up the rehearsal process, and its many ensemble roles enable everyone to have their moment in the spotlight. Along those lines, the show’s large, flexible cast size makes it ideal for high schools and community theatres, particularly since there are roles for children.
Click here to see a video montage of the CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG national tour!
Surprisingly, this simple, heartfelt show has its roots in the world of suave super-spy, James Bond. Bond’s creator, Ian Fleming wanted to write a story that his young son Casper could enjoy. Taking inspiration from a series of racing cars that Count Louis Zborowski had built in the early 1920s, Fleming wrote a Bond-like novel that was centered around children – as well as on a flying car with a mind of its own.
• Chitty and James Bond have more in common than just sharing Ian Fleming as their author. The film of Chitty was produced by Albert R. (Cubby) Broccoli as were all of the first seventeen Bond films. Desmond Llewelyn who played Q in the Bond films until his death in 2000 played the scrap dealer Coggins and Gert Frobe was the villain Goldfinger as well as Baron Bomburst. Also every Bond film features a car with some extra special built in gadgetry to help 007 in his quest.
• There is a Trivial Pursuit game card which asks ‘Which British spy novelist wrote the children’s story Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?’
• The film screenplay was written by prolific children’s author Roald Dahl and the film’s director Ken Hughes.
• The song “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” was nominated for an Oscar in 1968.
• The Sherman Brothers also wrote the songs for Disney’s Mary Poppins and The Jungle Book as well as countless other films including The Slipper and the Rose.
• Dick Van Dyke, who stars in the film is also connected to the Sherman Brothers in another way, having introduced the Oscar-winning “Chim Chim Cheree”.
• Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was originally published as separate adventures in three separate volumes over 1964 and 1965. It was not published in a single volume in England until 1971.
• Some of Rowland Emett’s strange and wonderful inventions for the film are housed and on display at the Mid-America Science Museum.
• Locations used in the film include Ibstone Windmill, Buckinghamshire and Neuschwanstein Castle near Munich. This castle was built by King Ludwig Konig of Bavaria as a temple to Wagner based on designs by Christian Janck which were in turn inspired by Angelo Il Quaglio’s stage sets for the 1867 production of Lohengrin.
• The films cast included many British comedy favourites in supporting roles including Benny Hill as the toymaker, Barbara Windsor, Arthur Mullard, Bernard Spear, Stanley Unwin, Davy Kaye, Max Bacon, Kenneth Waller and Max Wall.
• Empire magazine recently rated the film’s child catcher scenes among the 100 most frightening ever filmed.