Masterton Theatre Company’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang cast spent time with the original famous magical flying car. Trish Edwards [yellow dress], Marilyn Bouzaid [blue dress], Oliver Robinson-Smith, Ruby Edwards [Kids at the back of car], Andrew Fawcett, and Maggie Fauvel [front of the car]. PHOTO/JOHN LAZO-RON

JOHN LAZO-RON
john.lazo-ron@age.co.nz

They may be the stars of upcoming musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, but a group of Wairarapa actors were the ones left with stars in their eyes after spending time with the original famous magical flying vehicle.

The starstruck cast from the Masterton Theatre Company travelled to Wellington for a photo shoot with the famous car in the lead-up to the show’s opening night at the Majestic Theatre on June 24.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was a children’s movie made back in 1968, which featured the Pott’s family and their car, which could drive, float and fly.

New Zealand film director Sir Peter Jackson, bought the car in 2011, and was known to take the vintage car to air displays, such as Masterton’s Hood Aerodrome, and allowing children and charitable groups’ have time with it.

Show director Marilyn Bouzaid was simply lost for words when she had her first glimpse of the flying car.

“Absolutely fabulous, just marvellous,” she said.

“The crew have been so excited for today – they haven’t stopped talking about it.

“I mean, we’ve seen all the movies, but this is the real deal. It’s hard to explain when you’re seeing it right on front of you. Just amazing, it really is.”

Bouzaid wasn’t the only one gobsmacked by the car.

Trish Edwards, who was part of the show’s chorus, likened seeing the car to meeting an A-list Hollywood actor.

“I’m immensely excited right now,” Edwards said as she looked upon the car.

“I’m actually completely starstruck by it. I watched it a lot as a child, so to me this is like seeing a famous film star, not just a car.”

Edwards’ daughter Ruby was also at the photo shoot as she was cast as Jemima, one of two children in the play who help father and eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts restore an old race car from a scrap heap that becomes the flying vehicle.

Bouzaid said this was the first time the Masterton Theatre Company had put on the well-renowned show.

They had originally planned for it to go ahead last year before covid-19 disrupted those plans.

She said the play had generated a lot of interest since they announced they would be staging the famous production, with tickets selling well.

“Every time I’ve said Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to people, their eyes light up,” she said.

“This production is going to appeal to people young and old. I think with the older generation it’s going to bring back a lot of memories for them, so it’s great.

“We just want to thank Sir Peter [Jackson] for giving us the opportunity to come here and spend time with [the car]. We love it.”

  • The Masterton Theatre Company will be staging nine performances at the Majestic Theatre on Ngaumutawa Rd from June 24 through to July 4.


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