Willy Wonka is on his way

Ryan Foust as Charlie in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Original Broadway Cast 2017) - photo by Joan MarcusTickets to the spectacular new musical Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will go on sale this Friday 4 May at 4.00pm, with pre-sales now available. Fans can purchase tickets for performances from 8 January to 3 February 2019.

Roald Dahl’s treasured tale will be playing at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre from 8 January 2019, produced by John Frost, Craig Donnell, Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Langley Park Productions and Neal Street Productions, and is the perfect recipe for a delectable treat: songs from the original film including Pure Imagination, The Candy Man and I’ve Got a Golden Ticket – alongside a toe-tapping and ear-tickling new score from the songwriters of Hairspray.

“Sydney has a huge treat in store next summer, a magical concoction ready to satisfy any sweet tooth. Prepare to be enchanted by Roald Dahl’s bewitching tale once again, this time on stage,” said the producers. “We’re thrilled to bring this captivating production to Australia for the first time. Make sure you get your golden tickets fast!”

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 55 languages.

Dahl began working on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in 1961, but its origins can be traced all the way back to Dahl’s own childhood. In his autobiography, Boy, he tells us how, while at school in England, he and his fellow Repton students were engaged as ‘taste testers’ for a chocolate company – something that seems to have started him thinking about chocolate factories and inventing rooms long before Mr Wonka was on the scene. But when he came to write Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the story went through several drafts until the story as we now know it was released in 1964.

Dahl wrote the screenplay for the film release of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. It was a process that came with some difficulties, but the film went on to become a classic, with its now-iconic depictions of many of the story’s key elements, from Golden Tickets to Everlasting Gobstoppers.

15 years after Dahl’s death, renowned filmmaker Tim Burton released his own adaptation of the book in 2005. His Charlie and the Chocolate Factory starred Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka. In 2010 The Golden Ticket – an opera based on the story composed by Peter Ash with libretto by Donald Sturrock, premiered in St Louis, USA.

Then in 2013, a new musical production opened in London’s West End, directed by Sam Mendes and starring Douglas Hodge as Mr Wonka, where it ran for over three and a half years, with a reworked version opening on Broadway in April 2017 – directed by three-time Tony Award winner Jack O’Brien.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory features music by Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award winner Marc Shaiman; lyrics by Grammy and Tony Award winners Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman; a book by Artistic Director of Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum theatre, David Greig; choreography by Tony Award nominee and Emmy Award winner, Joshua Bergasse; and includes additional songs by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley from the 1971 Warner Bros motion picture.

Scenic and costume design is by five-time Tony Award nominee Mark Thompson; lighting design by four-time Tony Award nominee Japhy Weideman; sound design by Andrew Keister; projection design by Jeff Sugg; puppet and illusion design by Obie and Drama Desk Award winner, Basil Twist; and music supervision by Nicholas Skilbeck.

The Australian premiere has been secured exclusively for Sydney by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW and will be a major drawcard for visitors to NSW.

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 more, more, more at this everlasting showstopper! For more information, visit: www.charliethemusical.com.au for details.

Image: Ryan Foust as Charlie in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Original Broadway Cast – 2017) – photo by Joan Marcus