Show review: Ryedale Youth Theatre’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

The Ryedale Youth Theatre show was a triumph from start to finish.
The Ryedale Youth Theatre show was a triumph from start to finish.

Members of the Ryedale Youth Theatre excelled once again when they performed Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – thanks to outstanding teamwork.

There’s a song in this production entitled ‘Teamwork (can make the dream work)’ and never was a song so apt.

The Ryedale Youth Theatre show was a triumph from start to finish.

The Ryedale Youth Theatre show was a triumph from start to finish.

The team behind this vibrant young company have excelled themselves this time with a ‘fantasmagorical’ model of Chitty that not only drives but floats and flies!

The show was a triumph from the rousing opening number to the final closing one – with wonderful costumes, singing, dancing and both laugh-out-loud comedy to tears-in-the-eyes moments.

As Caractus Potts (Junior) Sam Spencer showed us a loving and caring widowed father, struggling for money but working hard on his inventions to pay the bills. His dancing and singing complemented the role perfectly.

Sam Piercy played Grandpa, a Grandpa who can sing and dance (as well as act).

With such a wealth of talent within the company the roles of Jemima and Jeremy were ‘double cast’ with each pair doing three shows each (Eloise Myers and Michael Williamson/Ruby Jackson and Jack Robinson). Romy Freer – as Truly Scrumptious – certainly was true to her character’s name and sang and danced her way into not only the hearts of Caracatus, Jemima and Jeremy but the audience as well.

The laughs in the show came mainly from two more teams: the completely idiotic spies from a country called Vulgaria (Josh Lewis and Callum Hodgson – stars of RYT’s future) and the wonderful Baron and Baroness Bomburst (Ben Greenhough and Hermione Collier-Hield).

The spies had some really funny lines, at times coming thick and fast and always delivered with panache.

Of course, RYT is a “triple-threat” company (they can all sing/dance/act) and the dancing and singing was showcased in the fast, slick and colourful “Me ‘Ole Bamboo” with what seemed like 50 dancers whirling, singing and dancing with bamboo canes and the marvellous ‘Bombie Samba’ at the Baron’s birthday party. The red and black costumes for the birthday Baron, his wife, and the Samba dancers were so colourful as they whirled and danced their way around this (never big enough) stage.

Then there was a team who we didn’t see at all – the Musical Choral Director (Rachael Clarke, in her first RYT show, who had all 70 members of the company singing with beautiful harmonies) and Musical Band Director Chris Hocking who led a live band which gave so much to every musical number.

The last team that deserve a mention is the one who have put this wonderful show together. The Director/Choreographer Chloe Shipley and the Assistant Director/Choreographer Lauren Hood are both ex performing members of Ryedale Youth Theatre.

Teamwork really does make the dream work – and Ryedale Youth Theatre proved it once again on stage.