Charlie and the Chocolate Factory welcomes John O’May as Grandpa Joe

Charlie John O'MayOne of Australia’s most experienced musical theatre performers, John O’May, will soon step into the shoes of Grandpa Joe in the spectacular musical Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which is currently playing at Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s Theatre before transferring to the Lyric Theatre, QPAC in Brisbane.

Tony Sheldon, who won a Helpmann Award for his portrayal of Grandpa Joe, makes his last performance on Sunday 1 December, before John O’May takes over on 4 December.

Most recently seen in The Production Company’s Ragtime and Grey Gardens, John O’May has trodden the boards more than 50 times since his debut in 1972 in the original Australian production of Godspell. He is probably best known for his portrayal of Che in the original Australian production of Evita, and Monsieur Andre, a role he played for three years in the original Australian production of The Phantom of The Opera.

John has worked many times for the Sydney and Melbourne Theatre Companies, toured internationally as Cardinal Felici in The Last Confession opposite David Suchet, and played the roles of Georges in La Cage aux Folles, Captain Bracket in the acclaimed Opera Australia production of South Pacific, Priam in Paris – The Concert Version, Herr Schultz in Cabaret and Sergeant Farratt in The Dressmaker.

“While we’re very sorry to see Tony Sheldon leave this wonderful cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I’m thrilled that John O’May will take over the role,” said John Frost. “Audiences are loving this beautiful musical, and the relationship between Charlie and Grandpa Joe is crucial to its success.”

“The show is in great hands with John O’May and I know people will continue to flock to see the Roald Dahl story they love and hear the beautiful songs they know,” added Mr Frost.

Final tickets for the Melbourne season of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory go on sale next week, with pre-sales from 2 December. After six glorious months, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will play its final performance at Her Majesty’s Theatre on Sunday 2 February 2020. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: John O’May (supplied)