Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
ROALD DAHL's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 'Theatre Show of the Year' winner at the London Lifestyle Awards 2015, is brought to life in a brand new West End musical directed by Academy Award® winner Sam Mendes.

When Charlie wins a golden ticket to the weird and wonderful Wonka Chocolate Factory, it's the chance of a lifetime to feast on the sweets he's always dreamed of. But beyond the gates astonishment awaits, as down the sugary corridors and amongst the incredible edible delights, the five lucky winners discover not everything is as sweet as it seems.

Featuring ingenious stagecraft, the wonder of the original story that has captivated the world for almost 50 years is brought to life with music by Marc Shaiman, and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman (Grammy® winners for Hairspray; Smash), a book by award-winning playwright and adaptor David Greig (The Bacchae; Tintin In Tibet), set and costume designs by Mark Thompson (Mamma Mia!;; One Man, Two Guvnors) and choreography by Peter Darling (Billy Elliot The Musical; Matilda The Musical).

A chocolate garden, an army of squirrels and the curiously peculiar Oompa-Loompas in this gigantic Olivier Award-winning musical that is choc-full of fantastical treats to dazzle your senses.
"Roald Dahl's 1964 cautionary tale of childhood excess is as fresh today as it was then. Obesity, indolence, TV addiction and grinding poverty all surface in the story of poor Charlie Bucket's triumph over a clutch of despicable children. And following his triumph with Bond movie Skyfall, director Sam Mendes has created a show with a heart bigger than a city. Mendes brings a cinematic sweep to the party that propels proceedings at a rapid pace, overcoming any shortcomings in spectacle and wonder. From an enchanting paper plane that floats above the audience to a colourful Wonka factory, in stark contrast to the Bucket's dump, he creates a truly magical world. Douglas Hodge, too, excels as Wonka himself, carving a difficult path between Wilder and Johnny Depp's more recent take on the character that is both vulnerable and egocentric. This is no West End musical churned off the production line, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory really takes the biscuit." Alun Palmer, Daily Mirror ★★★★

"The various calamities are staged with panache, and the special effects involving killer squirrels and those fearsome pygmies the Oompa-Loompas are highly ingenious. Douglas Hodge is a splendidly charismatic and disconcerting Willy Wonka, brilliantly combining jokes with a twitchy hint of the psycho, and the child performers are superb. I have little doubt that the production will be a big hit. Its combination of imaginative nastiness and shameless sentimentality seem tailor-made for the unlovable age in which we live." Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph ★★★

"It is full of splash and spectacle, with the most extraordinarily lavish design seen on stage in years, courtesy of Mark Thompson. It whisks effortlessly from one stunningly realized environment to another, and creates a troupe of weirdly wonderful Oompa-Loompas that are wittily imagined." Mark Shenton, Sunday Express

"Douglas Hodge seizes the role of Willy Wonka with great gusto and magnetism, and a top-hatted nod to Gene Wilder's 1971 film portrayal; his reprisal of Pure Imagination is a spine-tingling highlight alongside a lively original score. Ultimately, this adventure, with its soft-centred sentiments and nicely tart twists, remains a delectable treat." Arwa Haider, The Metro
CHARLIE ENTERS FINAL YEAR AT DRURY LANE (29 FEBRUARY 2016)

The West End production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, directed by Sam Mendes, continues to capture the imagination of audiences as it enters its fourth and final year in London.

Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has broken house records at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane where it has been seen by over 1.8 million people since it opened in June 2013. It currently sits alongside Miss Saigon and 42nd Street in the top three longest-running productions of the last 50 years at the historic theatre, one of London's largest.

A Broadway production will open in New York later this year and tickets for a UK-wide tour will go on sale next year. In addition, the stage musical will take part in the nationwide celebrations of the centenary of the birth of Roald Dahl.

Jonathan Slinger, as Willy Wonka, continues his celebrated performance, as do the principal cast members: Barry James as Grandpa Joe, Ross Dawes as Mr Salt, Josefina Gabrielle as Mrs Teavee, Jasna Ivir as Mrs Gloop, Paul J Medford as Mr Beauregarde, Claire Carrie as Grandma Josephine, Lara Denning as Mrs Bucket, Myra Sands as Grandma Georgina and Kraig Thornber as Grandpa George. Chris Grahamson joins the cast as Mr Bucket.

Tickets are currently available for performances up to Saturday 7th January 2017, when the show is expected to close.



NEW CAST FOR CHARLIE ANNOUNCED (27 MARCH 2015)

As Charlie and the Chocolate Factory approaches its second anniversary, producers have announced the cast that will take it into its third year. Alongside Jonathan Slinger as Willy Wonka will be Kraig Thornber (Grandpa George), Lara Denning (Mrs Bucket) and Mark Oxtoby (Jerry), among other new names. Originating company members Ross Dawes and Derek Hagen will take over the roles of Mr Salt and Mr Bucket respectively. Almost two-thirds of the current cast will be staying with the show for another year in Wonka's factory.

In a stage career spanning two decades, Jonathan Slinger has cemented his position amongst the foremost Shakespearean actors of the age. His extensive appearances with the Royal Shakespeare Company include the title roles in recent productions of Hamlet, Macbeth, Richard II and Richard III; Malvolio in Twelfth Night, Prospero in The Tempest and Dromio and Puck in The Comedy of Errors and A Midsummer Night's Dream respectively. His credits at The Globe include The Maid's Tragedy and The Winter's Tale. Other theatre credits include Yes, Prime Minister at Chichester Festival Theatre, Uncle Vanya at the Young Vic and As You Like It at the Royal Exchange Theatre. Last year, Jonathan made his musical theatre debut playing the role of Officer Lockstock in Jamie Lloyd's acclaimed production of Urinetown in London's West End.

The full cast from 4 May 2015 is now: Jonathan Slinger, Barry James, Ross Dawes, Josefina Gabrielle, Jasna Ivir, Paul J. Medford, Lara Denning, Derek Hagen, Roni Page, Myra Sands, Kraig Thornber, Joe Allen, Meg Astin, Joel Baylis, Andy Brady, Simon Campbell, Georgia Carling, Andrew Carthy, Collette Coleman, Dan Cooke, Divine Cresswell, Billy Cullum, Connor Dowling, Kelly Edwards, Gemma Fuller, Kate Graham, Sam Lathwood, Lucinda Lawrence, Mark Oxtoby, Matthew Rowland, Rebecca Seale, Steven Serlin, Gregory Sims, Robert Tregoning, Tara Verloop, Michelle White, Mark Williamson.

Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has now seen by over more than 1.25 million people since it opened in June 2013. It is currently taking bookings until 4 June 2016.



JONATHAN SLINGER NAMED AS NEW WILLY WONKA (28 FEBRUARY 2015)

Jonathan Slinger will play Willy Wonka in the West End production of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the role currently played by Alex Jennings. His first performance will be on Monday 4 May 2015.

In a stage career spanning two decades, Jonathan Slinger has cemented his position amongst the foremost Shakespearean actors of the age. His extensive appearances with the Royal Shakespeare Company include the title roles in recent productions of Hamlet, Macbeth, Richard II and Richard III; Malvolio in Twelfth Night, Prospero in The Tempest and Dromio and Puck in The Comedy of Errors and A Midsummer Night's Dream respectively. His credits at The Globe include The Maids Tragedy and The Winter's Tale.

Jonathan Slinger first appeared on the National Theatre stage in Richard II 20 years ago with subsequent credits there including Power, The Duchess of Malfi and The Coast of Utopia. Other theatre includes Yes, Prime Minister at Chichester Festival Theatre, Uncle Vanya at the Young Vic and As You Like It at the Royal Exchange Theatre. Last year, Jonathan made his musical theatre debut playing the role of Officer Lockstock in Jamie Lloyd's acclaimed production of Urinetown in London's West End.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has quickly become one of the West End's most popular and successful stage musicals. It has broken multiple records at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, where it has been seen by over a 1.25 million people since it opened in June 2013. It is currently taking bookings until 4 June 2016.



CHARLIE LEADS OLIVIER NOMINATIONS (17 MARCH 2014)

Hit musicals Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Merrily We Roll Along dominate the nominations announced this week by Nigel Harman and Leigh Zimmerman at the Rosewood Hotel for the 2014 Olivier awards, receiving seven apiece. Charlie makes the best new musical shortlist alongside The Book of Mormon and Once, as well as earning nominations for Douglas Hodge for best actor in a musical and Nigel Planer for best performance in a supporting role in a musical.

Currently running in the West End, The Duck House, The Full Monty, and Jeeves & Wooster in Perfect Nonsense are among the nominations in the best new comedy category.

The Almeida theatre also feature heavily this year. Their productions, including Ghosts and 1984, are nominated in ten categories.

Both Gavin Creel and Jared Gertner are up for best actor in a musical for their roles in The Book Of Mormon, and Ardal O'Hanlon gets a nomination for his performance in The Weir, currently playing at the Wyndham's Theatre.

The award for long-running West End favourites, the BBC Radio 2 audience award, is voted for by the public as usual. This year's contenders are Matilda the Musical, Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera and Wicked.

The winners will be revealed in the ceremony at the Royal Opera House on 13 April.



ALEX JENNINGS TO PLAY WILLY WONKA (7 FEBRUARY 2014)

Alex Jennings is to take over the role of Willy Wonka from Douglas Hodge in the West End production of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Alex Jennings is the only performer to have won an Olivier Award in the Drama, Musical and Comedy categories, winning Best Actor for Peer Gynt (1996), Best Actor in a Musical for My Fair Lady (2003), and Best Comedy Performance for Too Clever By Half (1988). He is an Associate at the National Theatre and the RSC and has had a wide and varied career on stage, screen and radio. In 2008, he made his operatic debut in Bernstein's Candide.

Alex Jennings' credits at the National Theatre include Untold Stories (West End), The Habit of Art, Stuff Happens, The Winter's Tale and The Relapse. He is an Associate Actor at the RSC, where his credits include Hamlet, Peer Gynt and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Other theatre includes The Liar, The Wild Duck, The Importance of Being Earnest, and The Country Wife. His screen career includes The Queen, Smiley's People, Hancock and Joan and Cranford.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, directed by Sam Mendes, has been seen by over half a million people since it opened in June 2013. It is currently booking at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane until 30 May 2015. Jennings's first performance will be on Monday 19 May 2014.











Information
Type of production: Musical

Opened: 22 May 2013

Booking until: 07 January 2017

Running time: 2 hrs 30 mins

Prices: £31.00 - £162.00

Author / playwright: Roald Dahl

Director: Sam Mendes

Music by: Marc Shaiman

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