Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Published June 19th 2013
The Sweetest Musical of the Year?
By Helen Maybanks
It is probably every child's (and some adult's) dream to visit a chocolate factory. Just imagine what delicious magical mysterious lie inside. But none could be more magical than the one owned by Mr. Wonka, the eccentric sweetie inventor from Roald Dahl's 1964 children's novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The author's imagination was as hyperactive as the sugar addicted children who won the exclusive tour of Willy Wonka's factory.
Despite the original novel's success, film adaptations have proved disappointing. Roald Dahl hated 1971's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory because it focussed too much on Mr. Wonka, and prevented anymore films being made during his lifetime. The 2005 version didn't fair much better, and because it starred Johnny Depp, Wonka once again took centre stage.
Perhaps it is best to let sleeping dogs lie? Or perhaps not. While it is taking a break from the big screen, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is now making its debut appearance on stage, in a brand new musical at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
The musical has been in the works for the past twenty-five years (or at least in the stewing pot). The director Sam Mendes, has been trying to get the rights since the late 1980s, but maybe it is just as well that it took so long. Now with all the gizmos and gadgetry, he has the ability to make a magical stage production that just would not have been possible back then. All those wacky inventions need a bit of technical wizardry to do justice to the spectacular descriptions Roald Dahl gave them in the book (Mike Tevee being miniaturised inside a television set, for example).
To see inside Mr. Wonka's factory you can buy a golden ticket for £25-£67.50, depending on how close to the Oompa-Loompas you want to get.