Watch the 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' trailer
The factory gates will soon be opening for Sam Mendes’s production of Roald Dahl’s riotous morality tale set in a fantastical sweet empire. News that Douglas Hodge, the Tony- and Olivier-winning star of 'La Cage Aux Folles', will play candy cane-twirling sweetie impresario Willy Wonka bodes well for a central performance full of eccentricity and complexity.
Finally moving from the rumour mill to reality (even if it is a reality in which pillows are made from marshmallows and lollipops grow on trees), ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ will feature new songs by composer-lyricist Marc Shaiman and lyricist Scott Wittman, with a book by Scottish playwright David Greig. He’ll be looking to repeat the success of ‘Matilda’s adaptor Dennis Kelly while putting his own stamp on Dahl’s joyfully grotesque world.
'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' cast and production team
Sam Mendes - Director
The Academy Award-winning director is returning to the West End to bring Roald Dahl's fantastical world to life. After a long-standing career in London's Theatre world, we're guaranteed a hit.
Marc Shaiman (music and lyrics) and Scott Wittman (lyrics) - Score
This seasoned lyricist and composer-lyricist team are the brains behind the brand new score for 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'. They'll be helping to re-introduce us to Dahl's colourful characters, and we're sure to receive something special from the creators of 'Hairspray', the Broadway musical 'Catch Me if You Can' and TV hit 'Smash'.
David Greig - Writer
With his plays having been commissioned by some of the best theatres and companies in the world, including the Royal Court, the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, Greig is the perfect voice to bring Roald Dahl's classic story right up to date.
Douglas Hodge - Willy Wonka
After winning both a Tony and Olivier Award for 'La Cage aux Folles', Douglas Hodge is set to bring the quintessentially eccentric Willy Wonka to life. With more stage credits than you've had hot dinners, Hodge is making us very excited about the cast announcement.
Find out more about the making of 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' in these video interviews with the production team.
How to get to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane
To reach the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, take the Piccadilly Line to Covent Garden tube station. Head south east towards Covent Garden Market, walk east around the court, turning left on to Russell Street and then right on to Charlotte Street. The theatre is on your left.
The show's director, Sam Mendes, talks us through the adaptation of the classic tale, and puppet and illusion designer Jamie Harrison talks Oompa-Loompas.
Designing the sets
Set and costume designer Mark Thompson explains how a show's set goes from imagination to reality, via lots of little models.
Writing the musical
Playwright David Greig and songwriters Scott Whitman and Marc Shaiman explain how they turned Roald Dahl's enchanting words into a script and score.
Putting the show together
The writers explain how they overcame busy schedules to get all the elements together to form the new show.
Find more family musicals in London
'My mummy says I'm a miracle,' lisps a pampered mini-me at a purgatorial kiddies' birthday party at the outset of this delicious, treacly-dark family show. The obnoxious ma and pa of its titular, gifted, pint-sized heroine are not, of course, quite so doting. But 'Matilda' must be making its creators, playwright Dennis Kelly and comedian-songsmith Tim Minchin, a very pair of proud parents. Opening to rave reviews in Stratford-upon Avon before transferring to the West End in 2011 and snatching up Olivier Awards with all the alacrity of a sticky-fingered child in a sweetshop, Matthew Warchus's RSC production remains a treat. With hindsight, Kelly and Minchin's musical, born of the 1988 novel by that master of the splendidly grotesque Roald Dahl, is a little too long and, dramatically, a tad wayward. But like curly-haired little girl in the famous nursery rhyme, when it is good, it is very, very good. And it's even better when it's horrid. The past few months have seen some cast changes, including, alas, the departure of Bertie Carvel's tremendous Miss Trunchbull, headmistress of the dread Crunchem Hall School, former Olympic hammer-thrower and a gorgon of monumental nastiness, complete with scarily Thatcher-esque tics of purse-lipped gentility and faux concern. David Leonard doesn't quite match the squirm-inducing, hair-raising detail of Carvel in the role, but his more butch, granite-faced version is fantastically horrible nonetheless. And if Paul Kaye as Matilda's loathsome f
Louise Dearman is currently playing the role of Elphaba The film world continues its love affair with werewolves, vampires and all things 'Twilight'. But theatre types have always known witches are where it's at. In its sixth year at the Apollo Victoria, Oz prequel 'Wicked' continues to fill this massive theatre with an international crowd of voracious consumers (glass of champagne and a choccy for £16 anyone?). But this stylish and bombastic musical still delivers, sailing over its patchy score thanks to a gravity-defying performance from its current leading lady Rachel Tucker, as the intense green-skinned undergrad who goes on to become the Wicked Witch of the West. 'Wicked' is a circus that rises or falls around its central performance. In the midst of a gigantic production full of bangs, bells and whistles Tucker, with her small frame and searing vocal ability, simply flies off with the show. She's closely followed by Gina Beck, who plays good girl, Glinda. Glinda and Elphaba's relationship forms the heart of this story and, as the Good Witch, Beck is a consummate clown, playing up the silliness of her character at every turn. But she can raise a tear, too, and her final duet with Tucker, 'For Good', is genuinely heart-rending. The Tim Burton-inspired ensemble oscillate between the hypnotic and grotesque and a sweet but thin voiced Matt Willis charms as the rather superfluous Prince. As in classical ballet, this is all about the women and, even by previous lead Idina Menz
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