Stephen Gately 'The Child Catcher' in Chitty from 7 Sep 2004

Stephen Gately 'The Child Catcher' in Chitty from 7 Sep 2004

Former Boyzone star Stephen Gately will play 'The Child Catcher' in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium from 7 Sep 2004, for four months until 16 Jan 2005

He will be the youngest actor to play the part.

He said: "It is going to be great fun. I am looking forward to being hideous-looking.....I have to put on a skull-cap to make me bald, with sparse hair glued on, while wearing prosthetic ears and nose and lots of make-up."

Stephen Gately made his West End debut in Feb 2003 in the title role of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" at the New London Theatre.

As previously mentioned, he will be joined on his first night by fellow 'Joseph' star Jason Donovan, who is returning to the part of 'Caractacus Potts'.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which is currently taking bookings to 13 March 2005, has music & lyrics by Richard M Sherman and Robert B Sherman. The film has been adapted for the stage by Jeremy Sams. The show is designed by Anthony Ward, has musical staging and choreography by Gillian Lynne and is directed by Adrian Noble.

The cast currently includes Gary Wilmot 'Caractacus Potts', Tony Adams'Grandpa Potts' , Scarlett Strallen 'Truly Scrumptious', Christopher Biggins 'Baron Bomburst', Louise Gold 'Baroness Bomburst', and Lionel Blair 'The Child Catcher'.

"CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG" opened in April 2002 to good notices from the popular press: BBC ONLINE says, "You come out of the London Palladium feeling like a kid on Christmas Eve." THE EVENING STANDARD says, "Sheer theatrical magic" And goes on to say, "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang proves itself an ageless pleasure and a pleasure for all ages. " THE GUARDIAN says, "It is the car everyone has come to see, and I can only report that when it becomes airborne and flies over the front stalls there are gasps of astonished delight." THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "The audience was purring with pleasure from the moment the band struck up the title tune during the overture." THE DAILY MAIL says, " Brilliantly and ingeniously designed by Anthony Ward."

The story of the adventures of Chitty, the magical car as it sails the seas and flies through the air . Chitty's eccentric inventor, Caractacus Potts and his enchanting children Jemima and Jeremy, join the truly scrumptious Truly Scrumptious and batty Grandpa Potts to outwit the dastardly Baron and the evil Child Catcher .

***"Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" will open on Broadway at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts in Spring 2005. (Previews begin 29 March, with an opening night set for 28 April 2005)

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