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Sam Mendes Directs Charlie And The Chocolate Factory at the London Palladium

Wednesday, 20th Jun 2012  

The Musical Takes Over Where The Wizard Of Oz Leaves Off

One of the biggest theatre news stories to emerge today regards the show set to take over at the London Palladium Once the current production of “The Wizard of Oz” ends. Sam Mendes is set to make his way back to the capital for “Charlie and The Chocolate Factory”, which will see another of Roald Dahl’s books adapted to the stage following the recent success of “Matilda The Musical” in the capital.

Everyone around the world is familiar with “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” as its origins as a children’s book have given way to it becoming one of the best known movie adaptations as well, with one appearing in 1971 under the title “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” with Gene Wilder and another in 2005 under its original moniker.

It tells the story of Charlie, who finds a golden ticket inside a Wonka chocolate bar, which allows him to go on a one-in-a-lifetime tour of his mysterious chocolate factory, full of Oompa-lumpas and a wide variety of bizarre contraptions that create his chocolate and sweets.

Sam Mendes is an interesting choice to bring the production to the stage, being best known for his work as a director of plays following his stint as an Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse and a director for the RSC. His credits over the years have included “Assassins” at the Donmar Warehouse, “The Winter’s Tale” and other production as part of the Bridge Project at the Old Vic and “Richard III” at the Old Vic. He also directed “Oliver” at the London Palladium, in addition to movies like “American Beauty”, “Jarhead”, “Away We Go”, “Road to Perdition” and the upcoming James Bond movie “Skyfall”.

This is likely to be one of the big West End musicals of 2013 and when it opens next year it will be one of the many shows to keep an eye on, particularly in terms of the sale of theatre tickets.

In addition to Mendes, other creative talents include David Greig (book), Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (music).

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is at the London Palladium from June 2013.

Article filed under: Theatre News | New Productions |