|Oliver Aikhair - photo by Jeff Busby|
Charlie and The Chocolate Factory to open in Melbourne in August
Charlie Bucket 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. For the auditions, producers are looking for Melbourne based boys of around ten years of age, boys who are an excellent singer with a naturally innocent voice and who exhibit wonderful innocence and vulnerability.
Sydney has embraced Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with both audience and critical acclaim, many performances selling out. Willy Wonka, the most amazing, fantastic, extraordinary chocolate maker the world has ever seen, is played by Paul Slade Smith. Slade Smith was part of the original Broadway cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory appearing as Grandpa George and most recently appeared in the Broadway revival of My Fair Lady at Lincoln Center.
Ninety and a half year old Grandpa Joe, an enthusiastic storyteller and eternal optimist, is played by Australian show business royalty Tony Sheldon. Sheldon is best known for playing the role of Bernadette in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert for over nineteen hundred performances in Australia, New Zealand, London, Toronto and on Broadway, winning the Theatre World Award and nominations for the Tony Award as Best Actor in a Musical, the Drama Desk Award, the Drama League Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award.
In the role of Mrs Bucket, a kind, caring mother and a woman of few words, is 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.
Jake Fehily and Octavia Barron Martin play Augustus Gloop and Mrs Gloop, Karina Russell and Stephen Anderson are Veruca Salt and Mr Salt, Jayme-Lee Hanekom plays Violet Beauregard with Madison McKoy as Mr Beauregard, and Harrison Riley and Jayde Westaby are 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.
Producers John Frost, Craig Donnell, Warner Bros Theatre Ventures, Langley Park Productions and Neal Street Productions are thrilled to be bringing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Melbourne. Step inside a world of pure imagination.
Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 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', sit alongside a toe-tapping and ear-tickling new score from the songwriters of Hairspray.
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 5 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 twenty million copies worldwide. It is now available in 61 languages.
Roald 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. When he finally 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.
Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory features direction by three-time Tony Award winner Jack O’Brien, music is by Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award winner Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Grammy and Tony Award winners Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, and the book is by Artistic Director of Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum theatre David Greig. Choreography is 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 is by Jeff Sugg, puppet and illusion design by Obie and Drama Desk Award winner Basil Twist, and music supervision by Nicholas Skilbeck.
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!
Venue Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne
Season From 9 August
Performance Times Wed-Sat 7.30pm, Matinees Wed 1pm, Sat 2pm, Sun 1pm and 6pm*
Prices: From $59.90**
Bookings: charliethemusical.com.au or ticketek.com.au
Groups 12+ call 1300 364 001
* Performance times vary weekly ** Transaction fees apply