Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Why no, it is the beloved flying car, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang soaring onto the Edinburgh Playhouse’s stage! Fasten your seat belts and brace yourself for a whimsical ride through the fantastical world of the much beloved film to stage adaptation.

A live orchestra accompanies the talented ensemble cast who bring boundless energy and enthusiasm to the performance, their dance numbers choreographed to perfection. ‘Me Ol’ Bamboo’ is a showstopper, with its infectious rhythm and intricate footwork. Every member of the production is utilised, from puppet handlers to flamboyant guards, rebelling children to fairground dancers; all have an integral role to play in bringing this production to life.

The most eccentric of all, inventor Caractacus Potts, is portrayed with boundless charm by Adam Garcia. Balance the caring father encapsulated in his rendition of ‘Hushabye Mountain,’ with his seemingly effortless ability to lead the intricate dance numbers, Garcia more than lives up to the example set by Dick Van Dyke in the original film. Ellie Nunn, plays the stylish and independent Truly Scrumptious, whose angelic voice is a great match for the sweet (no pun intended) role. When the two come together for their rendition of ‘Doll on a Music Box,’ it’s pure magic.

The true scene stealers though are the cast of baddies. Vulgarian spy duo Boris and Goran, played by Adam Stafford and Michael Joseph provide a generous helping of comic relief for both children and adults by going all in for their performance. Likewise, Elaine C. Smith dutifully plays a menacing Child Catcher, whose sinister presence is a chilling reminder of the original story’s darker side.

Visually, the production is simple yet full of small details that add to its charm, especially the Potts’ quirky windmill home with working inventions that light up with smoke and whirring noises. Changes to the more challenging elements of the story prove to be a funny surprise rather than a hindrance, and Chitty’s soaring moments are truly dazzling. It’s all a testament to the ingenuity of the production team and the special effects wizards behind the scenes.

This stop on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’s UK tour is a high-flying triumph that captivates the audience, both young and old, proving once again that this phantasmagorical car and its adventures are as timeless as ever.