This week Joe and I took a trip to the big smoke to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal on Drury Lane. We saw this incredible musical last year as a surprise for my birthday and loved it so much we couldn’t wait to see it again with a fresh cast. A year on this marvelous musical has only got better and we left the theatre floating like a glass elevator all warm inside with tear stained cheeks from Sam Mendes’ stage adaption of this beloved childhood Roald Dahl story.
[otw_shortcode_quote border=”bordered” border_style=”dashed”]We left the theatre floating like a glass elevator…[/otw_shortcode_quote]
The first thing we noticed about this musical is the set – it’s out of this world. From the junk-yard hut Charlie and his family live in to the kaleidoscope of colour that is Willy Wonka’s Factory it’s a real sight to behold, a truly epic production. The use of projections really transform the stage into a full factory with multiple levels and magical rooms, it was so cleverly done – bravo Mark Thompson and your set design team.
Willy Wonka himself (played by Jonathan Slinger) was exceptionally creepy and weird, just right for the role of this mad choclatier. His comedic timing and inflection was spot on and we felt like we were watching a stand up comedy show in parts – he had us seriously laughing out loud and our hearts breaking at some points too. A truly incredible performance and outstanding casting here.
Charlie was adorable with a great voice and believable performance but the best for us (apart from Wonka) was Josefina Gabrielle as Mrs Teavee. What a character and delightfully overacted. She had us in stitches with her role as the exhausted and slightly boozy mum trying to control her out of control tech addicted son! Mr Bucket was also delightfully soft with a fabulous voice and Cherry Sundae and her News Reader Co Host (Lucinda Lawrence and Mark Oxtoby) were excellent too.
The choreography for the dancing and musical numbers was great – clever use of the oompa-loompas and anamatronics throughout. We did struggle to hear some of the lyrics in the songs which was a shame as they were incredibly clever and catchy – maybe fine tuning issues with the mics and great orchestra below. There’s only one song from the original film but this doesn’t detract from the nostalgic enjoyment of the play – the new songs are great and it still has ‘Pure Imagination’!
We’re not ashamed to say that we welled up on a number of occasions throughout the show and I’d go and see it again in a heartbeat. It’s in my top 5 best musicals and if you can get tickets you must see this show – with or without the kids!
You can pick up your (golden)tickets from the box office here!
Have you seen Charlie and The Chocolate Factory on stage? Who’s your favourite character?
Leave a comment below or tweet me @xameliax! #charliechoc