Dad, how did the car fly? It was virtually the first thing that seven-year-old Fay said when waking up the morning after seeing the Hippodrome's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
A good sign. A very good sign. That and the fact that the bum shift-ometer registered little more than 1.5 on the fidget scale during what turned out to be a phantasmagorical ride through the fairytale world made famous by United Artists in the 1960s.
Director Adrian Noble's version of the Ian Fleming adventure is a faultless crowd-pleaser for children of all ages, with atmospheric sets, eye-popping special effects, great songs performed with gusto, rock-solid choreography and a huge hard-working cast that earns every penny of its take-home pay.
The star of the show is, yes, the car. Yes, it does fly. And, no, you can't see the joins.
Swooping and soaring its way through the inky on-stage darkness, the full-size recreation of GEN II got the biggest applause of the night as it dodged the cannonballs of a Vulgarian gunboat, pursued the kidnapped Grandpa Potts and performed its light-twinkling finale on the flight home.
Anything less would have been a letdown, of course.
Brian Connolly steps effortlessly into Dick Van Dyke's shoes as the single dad inventor who adds his own bit of magic to some rusty wreckage and creates a family car with a mind of its own.
The most enjoyable roles are the baddies, with Jane Gurnett giving it plenty of welly as Baroness Bomburst, former Coronation Street star Kevin Kennedy unrecognisable as a truly menacing Nosferatu-style Child Catcher, and Robert Traynor and Nigel Garton winning the crowd's special mention award as the Vulgarian spies.
This is undemanding but throughly entertaining stuff.
A big crowd came to the Hippodrome to have a good time and they didn't go home disappointed.
* Until September 2. Running time: two hours, 30 minutes.