Michael Rose, the producer of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, believes the final cost of his production — estimated at over £5 million — will make it London's most expensive musical.
A large section of the cost, £750,000, is the car (or cars, as several models will be used in different scenes), which needs to fly realistically.
Impressive though the flying witches were in Cameron Mackintosh's The Witches of Eastwick, and the National Theatre's flying Peter and children in Peter Pan, getting a large car airborne is that much more complicated and the costs reflect this.
As Michael Rose said at the press launch: "This is event theatre and that doesn't come cheap".
Nor, for that matter, do the creative talent lined up behind the show - including director Adrian Noble, leading man Michael Ball, and designer Adrian Ward. Emma Williams, cast as female lead Truly Scrumptious, makes her West End debut in the show, an opportunity for the 18-year-old to make her name — as Michael Ball did playing the juvenile lead in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Aspects of Love in the 1980s.
—by Paul Webb Theatrenow