Flash, bang, wallop, what a perfect musical.

The opening performance of Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of sixties’ classic Half a Sixpence was quite simply stunning, worthy of its several standing ovations, and saw the creation of a new stage phenomenon in its young star.

Flamboyant, breathless with energy, visually sensational: the musical numbers were tremendous, the choreography jaw-dropping, the comic timing masterful and the cast quite perfect in the telling of H.G.Wells’ classic tale of poor draper’s apprentice Arthur Kipps who struggles with love after coming into money.

Originally created as a musical vehicle for the then 19-year-old teen pop phenomenon Tommy Steele, Half A sixpence has struggled until now for revivals simply because of the emphasis on its all-singing, all-dancing, all-talented central character Arthur.

The reworking of the book by Julian Fellowes coupled with George Styles and Anthony Drewe’s new numbers was designed to even-out the production.

Yet in the end the musical still sinks or swims on whoever takes the role of Mr Kipps.

And in newcomer Charlie Stemp, Chichester has found a brilliant rising star.

Stemp is sensational in the role. His singing talents coupled with stunning acrobatic dancing skills had the audience roaring its approval from his first energetic number Money to Burn.

Almost continually on stage, his performances are spellbinding as Arthur struggles to come to terms with sudden wealth, rushed romance and the pressures of high society.

From a brilliant supporting cast, Ian Bartholomew is terrific as playwright Chitterlow who takes Kipps under his wing, Vivien Parry is marvellous as the future mother-in-law from hell Mrs Walsingham, and watch out for a scene-stealing cameo from Gerard Carey as the wedding photographer.

Styles and Drewe have created a number of new songs for the production of which Money to Burn, Back the Right Horse and the banjo-plucking Pick Out A Simple Tune stand out.

A saucy seaside duet for Anne Pornick (Devon-Elise Johnson) and Flo (Bethany Huckle) - including the line “I awake to find my knickerbocker glory still intact” - is simply sublime.

However, the original showstoppers from Beverley Cross and David Heneker remain the show’s big numbers: Flash, Bang, Wallop; If The Rain’s Got To Fall, and Half a Sixpence.

Half a Sixpence runs at Chichester until September 3.

Tickets are scarce and will set you back a little more than a full sixpence even, but are worth their weight in gold several times over if you can get them.