Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Making Memories.......
Posted Aug 14 2010 5:29am
Years ago when my parents were children, like so many other households at the time there wasn't a lot of money to spare. Especially in my mam's house, as my grandad died (fighting for the British army) when she was just 4 years old leaving behind 9 children for my nanny to rear, in a two bed house! My great-uncle acted as Santa Claus and he also somehow managed to bring them to the annual panto in the Gaiety Theatre. My mam and aunt have clear memories of this. He was making memories, you see.
In time I too was brought to the Gaiety Theatre to see the pantos. As an adult I got to perform there too! I remember going and I also remember going to the cinema for the first time.... Bedknobs and Broomsticks it was.
In both mine and my parents time there were limited shows to go see. Nowadays with all the touring UK reality TV talent-type shows there are lots to choose from. Of course we now also have a fabulous venue in the spanking brand new Grand Canal Theatre over-looking the Grand Canal Basin in Dublin, to entice ever more prestigious musical touring companies from the West End and Broadway.
After rocky beginnings and being asked to leave the cinema on his very first outing (God I hope that's not a lasting memory for him!) My WiiBoy is now of an age to enjoy these type of shows. In fact he is slowly becoming my companion for these events, starting with Britain's Got Talent 2009 in the O2, Dublin. Well, Mr Jazzy is quite simply not a fan. He can't understand how we could fork out so much money for these shows....even though Republic of Ireland football matches cost just us much. I know which are the better value too.... I've been to both!! That said, in these recessionary times both forms of entertainment could do more to bring more family-friendly packages to the market. The concession stands are also too expensive.
So, with all this in mind and after much ado about lost tickets and stand up rows with the horrible TicketMaster people, myself and WiiBoy finally got in to see the fabulous Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in the aforementioned Grand Canal Theatre last week.
Oh, we were so excited and decided to make an event out of it! WiiBoy was full of chat the whole time. Right through the show too I might add! I had to remind him on numerous occasions about using his "inside voice"!
We met Mr Jazzy for pizza before the show and somehow managed to keep the saga of the lost tickets a secret ;-) We then walked.... well Mr Jazzy and I walked, WiiBoy hopped, skipped and jumped, all the way to the Theatre from Baggot Street!
The Theatre is in lovely setting I must say, in the docks area. There is a lovely space outside, leading to the Grand Canal Basin with stone "creations" that doubles as an after-show playground for the children (no doubt it shouldn't!) and these big...well.....sticks. I remember getting an explanation for these when we did the Viking Splash Tour 2 years ago (OMG...that was like my 2nd Blogpost ever! Click on the link for a laugh!) I think the explanation was something to do with stilts? Anyway...they look ridiculous during the day but at night they light up and look like StarWars light sabers! Way cooler!
I'd heard a lot of good reports about the show and heard Matt Cooper say over on Today FM that after seeing this show he'd never bring his kids to see panto again!!
Now I loved this show, I really did. But I couldn't help but see a comparison, as teensy as it was, between it and...well....pantomimes. I'll probably be lynched for this but, there you have it. The audience although devoid of scrunchy/noisy sweet wrappers and crisp bags was full of kids. The show had lots of one-liners that were topical and that had double entendres. The spies were the hilarious none-to-wise characters that are always present in pantos.The Baddie (The Child Catcher) was booed and hissed at in true panto style and the baron deviated from his lines to tease welcome the Irish audience! And there was a silly-named other country.... Vulgaria! Just saying.....
WiiBoy of course questioned all the jokes and one-liners throughout. We enjoyed the musical numbers. We liked Tout Sweets. Hushabye Mountain was lovely with the starry sky...I always liked that moment in the movie. And I really loved Me Ole Bamboo! A great rousing dance number. The audience were all happily clapping along but I was too engrossed in the dance routine, comparing it to the movie version! All the while WiiBoy was constantly asking the same question... "Mum, what's...." So engrossed was I that I blocked him out (I'd answered tons of questions already!) He was quite cross with me at the end and insisted that I answer... "MUUM, what is The Ol' Man's Boots?"!! Could have been worse. I'm surprised he didn't say Ol' Man Boobs!! He also wanted the Baroness (who was hilarious) to exact her revenge by the end of Chu-Chi Face! My favourite was Doll on The Music Box....love, LOVE that song! It finished to rapturous applause from everyone but me. I needed a moment you see. I clasped my hands to my chest with a big stupid grin on my face and savoured the moment before I could join in! Magical. Oh, I loved ALL the numbers, truly I did!
Of course the real magical moment was when the car "flew". It was fabulous with a big starry sky background with an almost 3D effect. They ended the show with this too. And a well deserved standing ovation as we all sang along to the title song.
Loved it, Loved it, loved it!
It was Truly Fantasmagorical!
We can now say been there, done that and got the T Shirt!
Children today get so much and go everywhere, it seems, so I do hope by bringing WiiBoy to these events I am making memories for him whilst also instilling a love for Musical Theatre and live productions that will forth with him into his adult hood.