PHOTO EXCLUSIVE: Backstage Shenanigans With the Kids of London's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Musical
By Matthew Blank
The world premiere of a new musical version of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, featuring a score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, plays London's West End. Jack Costello and Tom Klenerman, two of the young actors who share the role of Charlie, were armed with cameras to show their fellow cast members at work and play backstage.
Directed by Tony, Olivier and Academy Award winner Sam Mendes (Cabaret, "American Beauty"), it has a book by David Greig (Damascus, Outlying Islands), with music and lyrics by Shaiman and lyrics by Wittman – the Tony Award-winning songwriters of Hairspray and "Smash." It has choreography by Tony and Olivier winner Peter Darling (Matilda, Billy Elliot).
The cast is led by Tony and Olivier winner Douglas Hodge (La Cage aux Folles, Cyrano de Bergerac) as Willy Wonka, with Nigel Planer as Grandpa Joe, Clive Carter as Mr Salt, Jasna Ivir as Mrs Gloop, Paul J. Medford as Mr Beauregarde, Iris Roberts as Mrs Teavee, Billy Royle as Grandpa George, Roni Page as Grandma Josephine and Myra Sands as Grandma Georgina.
Also in the company are Joe Allen, David Birch, Alex Louize Bird, Michelle Bishop, Mireia Mambo Bokele, Simon Campbell, Matthew Clark, Alex Clatworthy, Ross Dawes, Jennifer Davison, Luke Fetherston, Nia Fisher, Kate Graham, Derek Hagen, Clare Halse, Mark Iles, Daniel Ioannou, Kieran Jae, Jane McMurtrie, Natalie Moore-Williams, Sherrie Pennington, Damien Poole, Antony Reed, Paul Saunders, Jack Shalloo and Jay Webb.
According to the creators, "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... A chocolate garden, an army of squirrels and the curiously peculiar Oompa-Loompas must be believed to be seen in this spectacular new musical that is choc-full of fantastical treats to dazzle your senses."
The production is designed by Mark Thompson, with lightng by Paul Pyant and sound by Paul Arditti. Video and projections are by Jon Driscoll, with puppet and illusions by Jamie Harrison. The musical director is Nicholas Skilbeck.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is produced by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Neal Street Productions and Kevin McCormick.
To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 858 8877 or visit CharlieandtheChocolateFactory.com
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