The 1968 family film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, is coming to the London stage in a new production being billed as 'the most fantasmagorical stage musical in the history of everything.' Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the musical, will open at the London Palladium in April, in a new production adapted from the film by Jeremy Sams and directed by Adrian Noble, the artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, with choreography by Gillian Lynne, best known for her work on Cats. The show is being designed by Anthony Ward, with lighting by multiple Olivier-award winner Mark Henderson.
With the show set to fill every inch of the Palladium stage and beyond, with a sequence involving Chitty (the airborne car of the title) flying out and over the heads of the audience being planned - Henderson has specified a unusually eclectic rig, supplied by UK firm White Light. The rig is based around 24 Vari*Lite VL2202 spotlights, 14 Martin PAL1200 framing spotlights, 22 Mac 500 spotlights, 5 High End Cyberlights, 81 Mac 600 wash lights and 50 High End Studio Beam wash lights. Control for the automated lighting will be from a Flying Pig Systems’ Wholehog II console, programmed by Stuart Porter.
The moving lights will be supported by a conventional rig including over 200 ETC Source Fours, 130 PAR64s, L&E Ministrips and CXI color mixers from Wybron, plus and Rainbow 6" and 8" scrollers, all controlled by a Strand 500-series console. White Light is also supplying an assortment of effects, including High End Dataflash strobes, GAM FilmFX effects projectors, six 24" wind machines, smoke machines, dry ice machines and low smoke machines. Making it all work will be a team led by production electrician Fraser Hall.
The show features a number of West End favorites led by Michael Ball, Anton Rodgers, Brian Blessed and Rocky Horror Show creator Richard O'Brien, plus newcomer Emma Williams, and a technical team led by production manager Richard Bullimore. The show's fit-up has already started; previews begin on March 19th with the show scheduled to open on April 4th. Further information about the show can be found at www.chittythemusical.co.uk.