Roald Dahl’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ features direction by three-time Tony Award winner Jack O’Brien, music by Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award winner Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Grammy and Tony Award winners Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, a book by Artistic Director of Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum theatre David Greig, choreography by Tony Award nominee and Emmy Award winner Joshua Bergasse, and includes additional songs by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley from the 1971 Warner Bros motion picture.
Scenic and costume design is by five-time Tony Award nominee Mark Thompson, lighting design by four-time Tony Award nominee Japhy Weideman, sound design by Andrew Keister, projection design by Jeff Sugg, puppet and illusion design by Obie and Drama Desk Award winner Basil Twist, and music supervision by Nicholas Skilbeck.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is perhaps Roald Dahl’s best-known story and has proved to be one of the most enduring children’s books of all time. The story of Charlie Bucket and the five Golden Tickets, the Oompa-Loompas and the amazing Willy Wonka has become firmly embedded in our culture since it was first published in 1964. Conservative estimates suggest the original book has sold over 20 million copies worldwide; it is now available in 61 languages.
Roald Dahl began working on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in 1961, but its origins can be traced all the way back to Dahl’s own childhood. In his autobiography, Boy, he tells us how, while at school in England, he and his fellow Repton students were engaged as ‘taste testers’ for a chocolate company – something that seems to have started him thinking about chocolate factories and inventing rooms long before Mr Wonka was on the scene. But when he came to write Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the story went through several drafts until the story as we now know it was released in 1964.
Willy Wonka, the most amazing, fantastic, extraordinary chocolate maker the world has ever seen, will be played by Paul Slade Smith. Slade Smith is currently appearing in the Broadway revival of My Fair Lady at Lincoln Center, and was part of the original Broadway cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, appearing as Grandpa George.
Ninety and a half year old Grandpa Joe, an enthusiastic storyteller and eternal optimist, will be played by Australian show business royalty Tony Sheldon. Sheldon is best known for playing the role of Bernadette in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert for over 1,900 performances in Australia, New Zealand, London, Toronto and on Broadway, winning the Theatre World Award and nominations for the Tony Award as Best Actor in a Musical, the Drama Desk Award, the Drama League Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award.
In the role of Mrs Bucket, a kind, caring mother and a woman of few words, will be Lucy Maunder. Most recently Lucy played songwriter Cynthia Weil in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, and prior to that toured New Zealand, Adelaide and Perth in Matilda: The Musical, in which she played Miss Honey and was nominated for a Helpmann Award. For the Gordon Frost Organisation, Lucy played Lara in Dr Zhivago and Rizzo in Grease.
Step inside a world of pure imagination. Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the perfect recipe for a delectable treat: songs from the original film including “Pure Imagination”, “The Candy Man” and “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket”, alongside a toe-tapping and ear-tickling new score from the songwriters of Hairspray. What a great show to see if you’re a fan of the book and film.
Venue Capitol Theatre, Campbell Street, Haymarket
Season From 5 January 2019, selling to 19 May
Performance Times Wed-Sat 7.30pm, Matinees Tues & Wed 1pm, Sat 2pm, Sun 1pm and 6pm*
Prices: From $59.90
Joseph Lloyd: Freelance Writer
Photo Credit: Brian Grech