Friday 23 February 2018

Children all smiles as Chitty flies into Dublin

Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

IT has played host to 'Swan Lake' and 'La Boheme', but last night it was the turn of hundreds of children to take over the newly opened Grand Canal Theatre.

The award-winning 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' flew into Dublin with one of the biggest stage shows ever seen and a cast and crew of over 100.

The ever-popular show has become an institution at the Palladium in London's West End, where it has been playing for the past four years, and it has also gone as far as Broadway and Singapore.

A host of familiar faces embraced their inner child last night as they headed to the premiere with their young guests. They included broadcasters Gay Byrne, who was in the company of his four-year-old grand-daughter Kate Carney, and Pat Kenny who was with his teenage daughter Nicole.

Actress Victoria Smurfit and her husband Doug Baxter made a family occasion of it as they brought their children Ridley and Evie, while celebrity gardener Diarmuid Gavin was on the arm of his five-year-old daughter, Eppie.

The show is running until the middle of next month and is one of the most ambitious to be staged at the Grand Canal Theatre so far. Speaking before the curtain went up, Stephen Faloon, general manager of the theatre, said the audience was in for a treat.

"It's the full West End show that we are seeing in Dublin. Sometimes when it's in other theatres the stage is too small and they're not able to put on the whole show, but not here."

An elaborate stage management system allows the Chitty -- which at a cost of over €1m is in the record books as the world's most expensive stage prop -- to soar through the air.

The show runs until August 14 with matinees on Wednesdays and Sundays. Tickets cost from €25 and are available through Ticketmaster.

Irish Independent

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