For comedian Jason Manford, playing the lead part of Caractacus Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang means a lot personally.
The classic fantasy musical appears at Northampton’s Royal and Derngate from Wednesday September 21 to Sunday October 2.
The show features a mixture of madness, intrigue and exuberance. Can the loveable but wacky inventor, Potts, along with his two children and the gorgeous Truly Scrumptious outwit the bombastic Baron Bomburst, who has decreed that all children be banished from his kingdom? What happens when the children are caught and imprisoned by theevil Childcatcher? Will it all end happily-ever- after?
Jason said: “I think the show means sitting and watching this with my grandparents and obviously I have young children. It will be nice for them to see me in something.
“But I indentify a lot with Caractacus Potts. He’s a single father who wants to do the very best for their children and have been in that position.”
And it was giving his children the chance to see him in the show which was a driving factor in taking part.
Jason added: “It is great that they get to see me in it. They did get to see The Producers but the Nazi thing went over their head fortunately.
“It was on that show and I was up at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and I was asked to do this. And I thought I’ve just got to do it
“It’s got all of the elements that you would expect, including the flying car which is really the star of the show and there is a really great cast of people and there’s the Childcatcher as scary as you’d expect.”
He has appeared on the Derngate stage before and he is hoping it will be as memorable as his first trip.
Jason added: “It is a great venue having done stand up there before.
“The last time I was there, a food and drink festival was taking place in the town and some of the products there were amazing. We were lucky to make it to the show that night.”
But does he feel the pressure to be funny when people find out he is a comedian?
“I try and be friendly when people do approach me because that is what I am like. If I think of a joke, I’ll say it but I won’t try and force a joke if one comes.
“What I’ll usually get is that people think they know me but can’t remember my name. I do however try and avoid places like pubs because I find that if people have alcohol, they are capable of being a little more confident than they would be normally.”
Tickets for the show can be booked by calling the box office on 01604 624811 or visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk.