Nigel Planer in Charlie And The Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal

Sunday, 13th Jan 2013  

Former Star of The Young Ones Will Portray Grandpa Joe in the Sam Mendes-Directing Musical from May 2013

It’s been a while since Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was in the spotlight. In fact the last piece of news to emerge regarding the production was back in October when Douglas Hodge was revealed to be the stage version’s Willy Wonka, following in the footsteps of the screen’s Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp.

But today another character has been given a face with Grandpa Joe set to be portrayed onstage by Nigel Planer, the actor and comedian who has appeared in a wealth of television shows and stage productions.
Planer is perhaps best known for his role as Neil in the 1980s sitcom The Young Ones, which he followed up with the character of Ralph Filthy in Filthy, Rich & Catflap in 1987. Over the years he has also taken on roles in shows such as Shine On Harvey Moon, Blackadder and The Grimleys, among others. However, producers of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory will have undoubtedly noticed his London stage credits as well, which have seen him appear in west end shows such as Hairspray at the Shaftesbury Theatre and We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre. Earlier in his career he also appeared in Man Of The Moment and as part of the original cast of Chicago.

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory is the famous novel by Roald Dahl, which has been adapted to the screen on two occasions – once in the 1970s with Gene Wilder (under the title Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory) and again more recently in Tim Burton’s Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. It follows Charlie and Grandpa Joe, who are invited on a tour of Wonka’s chocolate factory when they find a coveted golden ticket inside one of his products. Inside they are faced with an intriguing world full of Oompa Loompas, sweets and bizarre contraptions.

The musical adaptation is directed by Sam Mendes, who has worked extensively in the capital and also made a name for himself in film (most recently directing recent James Bond film Skyfall).

Replacing Shrek The Musical at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory opens on Tuesday 25th June 2013 (with previews from Saturday 18th May 2013).