Oh You Pretty Chitty Bang Bang

Last sunday I went to Sheffield to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang live on stage. It’s a show I’ve wanted to see ever since I went through a hardcore Dick van Dyke phase – hello! He’s the Harrison Ford of children’s movies! He’s not in the show, of course, but he starred in the 1968-movie, and that was reason enough for me to get into it.

The story is about the inventor Caractacus Potts and his two young children, Jeremy and Jemima, whose super-fast car, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (because that’s the sound it makes!), is the object of desire of Vulgaria’s Baron Bomburst. When the Baron kidnaps Granpa Potts the Potts family comes to his rescue, along with the beautiful Truly Srumptious – but arriving in Vulgaria they find out that the Baron and his wife detest children and that Jeremy and Jemima are in great danger of being abducted by the hideous Child Catcher.

'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' Tour

I am really not a cars kind of person, but the story just had me. It’s bit like Grease for children. And I’ll admit the first time they started the car and it made this awful sound, my mind went straight into thinking, THAT’S AIR POLLUTION! SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT! But then how could I resist a car that only runs when you say «PLeeeeaaaase!»

Only how you convince a child after seeing the show that the Child Catcher is not real, I shall never know. He seemed pretty convincing to me, and whenever his track comes up on my iPod i press skip. Eergh, everytime I hear him go «Childreeeeen!» I physically shudder.

'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' Tour

To say I enjoyed the show is a slight understatement. I absolutely loved it! It’s weird and loud and bright, and oh my, the costumes! Unlike the film, the show is set in a post-World-War-I era, so everything’s a bit more colourful and funky. What I was most impressed with, though, were the child actors. Lucy and Henry, who played the roles of Jemima and Jeremy Potts, were in every way a delight to look at! They played their parts so well and with so much heart. I simply cannot imagine the effort the producers of the show had to put into training these kids – how do you get them to stay concentrated, and how do you prevent them from forgetting their lines in stage fright? They have to act and sing and dance, sometimes everything at once, and yet they didn’t screw up once.

Everytime I watch a live musical I am freshly impressed by the actors. They’re all professionals, so as well I should be of course – but they never cease to amaze me. Lee Mead and Carrie Hope Fletcher make such a wonderful pair with their curly hair and quirkie costumes, and they make it incredibly hard to imagine any other actor taking over the role. Actually, Carrie Fletcher could just change her name to Truly Scrumptious and pull it off. You look at her and think, Hang on – she’s not the candy maker’s daughter?!

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This show makes me consider getting my driver’s licence just so I’d be legally allowed to steer a flying car! If you have the chance to see the show, please go watch it! What a happy time you’ll spend! It’s beautifully done, it’s laugh-out-loud funny, and it’s romantic – it’s everthing I need in a stage production; blast it, it’s everything I need in life!

All the pictures featured in this post I downloaded from the musical’s website!

Meet: Deliah

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Deliah in three words: Cosmopolitan, Creative, Impatient
Deliah’s dream dinner party guests: Clint Eastwood, Julie Andrews, Ellen DeGeneres
Deliah’s favourite post: Healthy Living: Chia Pancakes with Fresh Fruit Topping
Deliah reads: Negin Mirsalehi, Food52
(because my computer’s a bit poorly I can’t link anything at the moment. You can find Deliah and Lara on http://www.halfwaytobroadway.wordpress.com)

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Deliah and I graduated together from High School in 2013, but lost touch soon after. I knew she was going to be an actress, and when I discovered the blog she keeps with a friend, http://www.halfwaytobroadway.wordpress.com, I couldn’t help but feel intrigued. I met Deliah in early October in Lucerne. Because of a play she was cast in, she returned to Switzerland for the term, thus making it easy to catch up. Of course we gossip all the way to the café we have our hot chocolates in. Who did we keep in touch with? Are these two still dating? Did that guy find a job? The talk evokes a burst of giggles from both our side and it takes a while until I finally get my tablet out and start with my questions.

Deliah and Lara are both completing their Musical Theatre Course in Hamburg and they soon found that very little is known about the Musical world. «When I tell people what I do, they often say, Oh, then you must be a good singer? – It’s a shame, because there is so much more to it than that!» Together the actresses decided to launch a blog where they talk about everything to do with acting and singing. «There is so much to be considered,» Deliah explains. «What food can I eat? What do I pack for tours? Which vitamins are essential? Musical is a serious sport!»

Being an actress holds many big plans in stock for Deliah. In twenty years she hopes to have lived in New York for at least a year and to have been invited to a Broadway Audition. «Being cast in a Broadway show would, of course, be a dream come true. But just being invited for an audition, that would already blow my mind!» Another secret little dream of hers is to study interior design, a little passion Deliah’s has always hoped to one day develop further.

Just as diverse are the plans for Halfway to Broadway. Deliah and Lara burst with ideas to write about. Their readers can look forward to reviews of plays the girls have attended, fashion posts and hair styles to try out. «One thing I would particularly like to write about is about dating an actor or actress. Being in a relationship with someone like us is very different from most other relationships. The other person has to deal with intimacy on stage and the stress of constantly being on the move. It’s not always easy.»

Deliah is very happy in her long-term relation with her boyfriend back in Hamburg. And she is incredibly proud to have pursued her dream. «I’ve been very lucky! But I also believe that we should not let our talents go to waste. If you’re good at something and if it makes you happy, then do it!»

As our time together ends we get off topic and down to business: Disney! «If I could make any fictional character come to life, it would have to be Mary Poppins!» Deliah grins. «She’s super cool – a nanny that’ll jump inside paintings with you? Come on!» But if she had to identify with one Disney character it would be Belle. «But I want Kristoff, not the Beast!» Now, wouldn’t that be a combination!

Deliah walks me back to the main train station later that day and explains her busy schedule at the theatre. I express my admiration for her work, but she just shrugs and says, «Being a professional means getting there on time, being prepared and not taking up everyone else’s time. That’s a quote I’ve taken very much to the heart.»

And as we hug good-bye, I’m sure this will not be the last I’ve seen of Deliah.