Sam Mendes to Stage Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in London in 2013; New Songs By Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman
By Mark Shenton
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, based on the Roald Dahl story that was first published in 1964 and previously adapted into two films in 1971 and 2005, is to be brought to the stage in a production that Sam Mendes will direct, opening at the London Palladium in June 2013.
The book is by playwright David Greig and new songs are being provided by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Tony winners for Hairspray, as well as working on Broadway on Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me and Catch Me If You Can, and TV's "Smash").
It will be produced by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Neal Street Productions and Kevin McCormick. The creative team will also include choreographer Peter Darling (Billy Elliot, Matilda), with sets and costume designs by Mark Thompson, lighting by Paul Pyant, sound by Paul Arditti and video and projection design by Jon Driscoll.
In the story, the mysterious Willy Wonka is opening his Chocolate Factory for just one day, and for Charlie Bucket it promises to be a mouth-watering chance to feast his eyes on sweets beyond his wildest imagination.
Mendes, who founded the Donmar Warehouse in its current incarnation as a producing theatre in 1992, has also directed extensively for the RSC and National. On Broadway, he has co-directed Cabaret (after originally directing it at the Donmar Warehouse), Gypsy with Bernadette Peters, The Blue Room with Nicole Kidman and Iain Glen (transferred from the Donmar) and the world premiere of David Hare's The Vertical Hour. More recently he was involved in a joint venture between The Old Vic and BAM in New York, The Bridge Project, for which he directed The Tempest, The Cherry Orchard, A Winter's Tale and Kevin Spacey in Richard III. His films have included "American Beauty," for which he won the Oscar for Best Director, "Road to Perdition," "Jarhead," "Revolutionary Road" and "Away We Go." He has most recently been directing the 23rd James Bond film "Skyfall" which will be released in October 2012. He was awarded a CBE in 2000 and A Director's Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.
Tickets will go on sale in October 2012. For further information, visit CharlieandtheChocolateFactory.co.uk.
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