Charlie Bucket has been found and he has a Golden Ticket! Producers John Frost, Craig Donnell, Warner Bros Theatre Ventures, Langley Park Productions and Neal Street Productions have announced the four boys who will play the role of Charlie in the spectacular new musical Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Roald Dahl’s delicious tale will be playing at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre from 5 January 2019.
Oliver Alkhair (11 years of age), Tommy Blair (11), Xion Jarvis (9) and Ryan Yeates (13) will share the role of Charlie Bucket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Charlie lives with his mother and his four grandparents in a little wooden house near a great town, and is the final child to find a Golden Ticket.
Willy Wonka, the most amazing, fantastic, extraordinary chocolate maker the world has ever seen, will be played by Paul Slade Smith. Currently appearing in the Broadway revival of My Fair Lady at the Lincoln Center, Slade Smith was part of the original Broadway cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, appearing as Grandpa George. Previously he performed in Finding Neverland on Broadway, and took over the roles of Charles Frohman and Captain Hook from Kelsey Grammer. He has also appeared in Wicked as Doctor Dillamond and The Phantom of the Opera.
Ninety and a half year old Grandpa Joe, an enthusiastic storyteller and eternal optimist, will be played by Australian show business royalty Tony Sheldon. Sheldon is best known for playing the role of Bernadette in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. His extensive career includes roles for the Sydney Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company and Nimrod, as well as starring roles in the musicals The Producers, Man of La Mancha, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Hello, Dolly! and Camelot.
In the role of Mrs Bucket, a kind, caring mother and a woman of few words, will be Lucy Maunder. Most recently Lucy played songwriter Cynthia Weil in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, and prior to that toured New Zealand, Adelaide and Perth in Matilda: The Musical, in which she played Miss Honey and was nominated for a Helpmann Award. For GFO, Lucy played Lara in Dr Zhivago and Rizzo in Grease.
They join the previously announced cast members, including Jake Fehily and Octavia Barron Martin as Augustus Gloop and Mrs Gloop, Karina Russell and Stephen Anderson as Veruca Salt and Mr Salt, Jayme-Lee Hanekom and Madison McKoy as Violet Beauregard and Mr Beauregard, and Harrison Riley and Jayde Westaby as 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 and Thalia Smith.
“We have found such a gloriously talented bunch of performers to create Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for Australia,” said the producers. “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. Now this fabulous cast will enchant audiences with the story once again on stage.”
“This is such a wonderful story for generations to share,” added John Frost. “Parents love sharing their favourite Willy Wonka film from their childhood with the whole family, and grandparents love taking their grandkids. We have an amazing cast to bring this story to life.”
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory plays at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre from 5 January 2019. For more information, visit: www.charliethemusical.com.au for details.
Image: Tommy Blair, Ryan Yeates, Lucy Maunder, Oliver Alkhair and Xion Jarvis star in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – photo by Peter Brew-Bevan