Charlie and the Chocolate Factory set to dazzle Sydney

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Paul Slade Smith as Willy Wonka (c) Brian GeachThe spectacular new musical Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory begins on stage today (Saturday 5 January) ahead of the official Opening Night on Friday 11 January 2019 at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre.

Having delighted audiences in London, New York and across the US, now it’s Australia’s turn to fall in love again with Roald Dahl’s delicious tale. With January shows nearly sold out including extra school holiday matinee performances added due to huge demand, best availability for tickets is February and March performances.

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, 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 60 languages.

Producers John Frost, Craig Donnell, Warner Bros Theatre Ventures, Langley Park Productions and Neal Street Productions are thrilled that their magical production is opening in Sydney. “The world fell in love with Roald Dahl’s bewitching tale when the book was released, then filmgoers adored the 1971 film with Gene Wilder,” they said. “Now audiences will be enchanted with the story once again on stage.”

“With the original Broadway creative team of legendary director Jack O’Brien and choreographer Joshua Bergasse guiding our gloriously talented bunch of performers, we know that Australia is going to be delighted by this miraculous production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

Four boys share the role of Charlie Bucket in this production, Oliver Alkhair, Tommy Blair, Xion Jarvis and Ryan Yeates. Willy Wonka, the most amazing, fantastic, extraordinary chocolate maker the world has ever seen, is played by Paul Slade Smith. Ninety and a half year old Grandpa Joe is played by Australian show business royalty Tony Sheldon, while Lucy Maunder plays the role of Mrs Bucket.

Jake Fehily and Octavia Barron Martin play Augustus Gloop and Mrs Gloop, Karina Russell and Stephen Anderson are Veruca Salt and Mr Salt, Monette McKay is Violet Beauregard with Madison McKoy as Mr Beauregard, and Harrison Riley and Jayde Westaby play Mike Teavee and his mother Mrs Teavee.

Completing the wonderfully talented cast are Johanna Allen, Sheridan Anderson, Hayden Baum, Kanen Breen, Bayley Edmends, Bronte Florian, Todd Goddard, Madison Green, David Hammond, Sasha Lian-Diniz, Aaron Lynch, Jordan Malone, Kassie Martin, Phoenix Mendoza, Adam Noviello, Glen Oliver, Danielle O’Malley, Jackson Reedman, Emma Russell, Taylor Scanlan, Thalia Smith and Quentin Warren.

Now it’s Australia’s chance to experience the wonders of Wonka like never before – get ready for the Oompa-Loompas, incredible inventions, the great glass elevator and songs from  the 1971 Warner Bros motion picture by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley including Pure Imagination, The Candy Man and I’ve Got a Golden Ticket – alongside a toe-tapping new score from Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman – the songwriters of Hairspray.

“This is such a wonderful story for generations to share,” said Producer John Frost. “Parents love sharing their favourite Willy Wonka film from their childhood with the whole family, and grandparents love taking their grandkids.”

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory plays at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre from Saturday 5 January (opening night – Friday 11 January) and plays through to Sunday 19 May 2019. For more information, visit: www.charliethemusical.com.au for details.

Image: Paul Slade Smith stars as Willy Wonka – photo by Brian Geach

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