Tuesday, 28 March 2017

A Musical To Remember - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at St Monica School, Birkirkara

I don't often go out in the weekends, unless you count errands, but last Sunday was an exception. Every year, in March or April, St Monica School in Birkirkara, Malta, put up a spectacular show for three nights and for many years I've had the pleasure of attending. This year a musical was chosen and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was not only re-enacted in its wonderful colourful entirety but also brought to life, literally, as the star of the show - the car itself - was lovingly handcrafted and built to move and 'fly', thanks to the mechanism and hydraulic system that were added to it. Speaking of which the car was not the only amazing prop, though definitely the show-stealer, as Caractacus Potts' toot-sweet maker and the children's bunk-beds were also sturdy functioning props, as was the turning windmill and beautiful toy-maker's house. Meanwhile the scenery was just as awesome in its detail.

As always, I was intrigued by the technical details that made up the background to the scenes being acted out. However I should really be mentioning all the actors' brilliant singing voices, amazing memories at learning all those lines and their dancing skills too. As I said, I've been attending the show for so long I have lost track of just how many performances I have seen and whilst I am sure that time dims memories, I think I am not incorrect in saying this year's probably beats the rest in its marvellous interpretation of a well-loved classic. Suffice to say, the actress playing the inventor Potts, the children's father, had me hanging onto her every word, even though I usually can't help my mind drifting to clips from the films being acted out if I am familiar with said film's actor. Meanwhile Grandpa Potts too was played by a teenage girl of immeasurable talent, making us laugh our way through the scenes in which the character appears.

If the original Grandpa Potts was given a run for his money, so was Sally Ann Howes' Truly Scrumptious and the children Jemima and Jeremy's alter egos, who were played by two little girls that were impressive for their young age. I could go on and on till I mentioned all the cast, as everyone from the Childcatcher to the spies, the old captive inventors to the dancers, were undisputedly of a professional level, certainly also thanks to their director Rita Vassallo, the drama teacher of the school. So as I close this year's chapter of my experience with a photo of myself with the gorgeous car itself, I look forward already to whatever next year's production will promise as it can only promise something worth watching for children and adults alike.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang made by Manuel Gauci

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