Hi everyone and welcome back to another review!
This time we are actually at a new theatre! I got kindly invited to The Chelmsford Theatre in Chelmsford, Essex! First then, about the show! I went to go see ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ performed by a local drama society ‘The Trinity Music and Drama’ society located in Chelmsford.
The show is based on the well-known classic film of the same name and starts with Caractacus Potts an inventor trying to make a better life for his two children Jeremy and Jemima with their grandpa lending a helping hand where he can. But then one day the Potts family come across Truly Scrumptious the daughter of a well-off sweet factory owner and they instantly have a strong connection as a family. But then things start to go wrong for them and they end up travelling to this strange country with an evil king and queen.
From start to finish you could instantly tell that all the members of the cast were all having immense fun, especially the two children playing the Potts children! Could you tell it was an amateur production, yes. But didn’t it matter not at all! I have always believed that it’s so important to support local groups and societies like this for two reasons. One because this is. where the love for theatre comes from, and it will inspire the next generation of actors/actresses. But also secondly it allows actors who maybe couldn’t have turned professional for whatever reason, or professional actors to take more of a back seat to still continue the one thing they enjoy the most and that’s entertaining audiences.
On to the accessibility of the show, The show constantly has bright colours and lights, so if you have some useful vision then you will able to see everything that is going on. If you have limited vision or you struggle with bright lights or light bouncing off of objects then you might struggle a little but then the show makes up for it in the fun and laughter it provides the audience. There a two loud pyrotechnics during one scene of the show but that’s all there is. There are slight sounds of cannon fire and one quite gunshot, but the sound effects were not very loud. But something you might to prepare yourself for if you struggle with loud noises. Sadly there is no Audio Description or Touch Tour available, but this was to be expected the show being performed by a local drama group. However, maybe this is something they could possibly look into for future productions? I am of course happy to assist in this, so please do get in touch if this is something you wish to pursue.
As this is a new venue I have been to, I wanted to touch briefly on the accessibility of the theatre itself. Before arriving at the venue, I notified the venue that I would be bringing my Guide Dog with me, and could they accommodate her whilst I was watching the show with my dog in the box office with staff. They then sent back some questions they wanted me to answer which of course I was more than happy to answer. To which they said they would look after her. On the night, the staff were really welcoming and friendly and loved looking after my dog. I did notice however that the box office was smaller than some other venues I have previously been to so if you are going with a group of more than one Guide Dog, do contact the theatre in advance, and they still might be able to assist, but bare this in mind. Also, there are very little to no patches of grass for your dog to ‘spend’ so if like me you have a dog that prefers grass, then make sure they go before your trip, but the staff are more than happy to take them out for you if you ask.
In terms of the building itself, as you go into the building, there is a very wide open space, with very few walls to help guide you along. I found the staff to be very helpful and will happily help if they can. There are also unisex toilets available, I wasn’t told of any disabled toilets available so something to ask the staff if you require that. All of the building is well lit by lights and I was able to easily get around before the show, but after the show had finished getting out of the theatre was a little tricky because of the mass exit from the audience so maybe hang back a little until the crowd clears.
Overall I found the venue to be easy to navigate but if you are someone with little to no vision then you will struggle due to the amount of wide space so I would strongly suggest going with a friend or family member on your first visit to then be able to understand your bearings better.
Overall, I definitely recommend this show and this theatre! ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ is running at The Chelmsford Theatre from Wednesday 24th until Saturday, the 27th of May 2023, if you are looking for a relaxing, enjoyable and fun night out I cannot recommend this enough, and I can’t wait to see what this theatre has in store in the future! Tickets for the show can be found on The Chelmsford Theatre’s website by clicking here.
Until Next Time,
The VI Critic