February 12, 2014
Douglas Hodge is to leave Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on 17 May 2014, to be replaced by Alex Jennings.
New casting has been announced for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
Award-winning actor Alex Jennings is to take over the lead part of Willy Wonka from Monday 19 May 2014.
Douglas Hodge is currently playing the part of Willy Wonka in the show, and will finish his performances on Saturday 17 May 2014.
Directed by Sam Mendes, the musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s much-loved children’s book has broken all box-office records at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and has already been seen by over half a million people since it opened in June 2013.
Alex Jennings in an award-winning actor, with Olivier Award wins for Peer Gynt (1996), My Fair Lady (2003) and Too Clever By Half (1988). Other theatre credits include National Theatre shows Untold Stories, The Habit of Art, Stuff Happens, The Winter’s Tale and The Relapse, RSC productions including Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and productions including The Liar, The Wild Duck, The Importance of Being Earnest, and The Country Wife. On screen he has appeared in The Queen, Smiley’s People, Hancock and Joan and Cranford.
January 28, 2014
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is extending its run at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane until 30 May 2015.
The brand new booking period will go on sale on 7 February 2014.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory stars Douglas Hodge in Sam Mendes’ hugely successful production based on Roald Dahl’s much-loved book.
The show is adapted by David Greig, with songs by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
West End Theatre at the Royal Variety Performance including Dame Edna and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
November 29, 2013
This year’s Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium saw the West End’s Dame Edna make a surprise appearance, and the casts of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Harry Hill’s I Can’t Sing! – The X Factor Musical and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Stephen Ward perform.
The annual Royal Variety Performance in aid of the Entertainment Artistes’ Benevolent Fund was held this Monday 25 November 2013 at the London Palladium attended by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.
Hosted by comedian and actor John Bishop, the show saw Dame Edna, who is currently performing at the Palladium in Eat, Pray, Laugh! Barry Humphries’ Farewell Tour, surprised the Royal guests by appearing in the Royal Box at the start of the show. She also did an onstage set.
West End theatre casts that performed during the night included new musical I Can’t Sing! The X-Factor Musical, which opens at the London Palladium on 27 February 2014. Harry Hill, the show’s writer, introduced a musical segment from the show, with Nigel Harman as Simon Cowell being lowered God-like down on to the stage, and the show’s star Cynthia Erivo, who plays Chenice, proving that she can definitely sing!
The Royal Variety Performance also included a number from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new show at the Aldwych Theatre, Stephen Ward, featuring Alexander Hanson and Charlotte Spencer. The segment was introduced by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Also the cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, including Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka, did a set from the show that is currently running at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
Other artists who performed on the show included Strictly Come Dancing champion Flavia Cacace and the cast of Dance ‘Til Dawn, Britain’s Got Talent winners Attraction, Mary J. Blige, Gary Barlow, Jessie J, Rizzle Kicks, Olly Murs, Robbie Williams, John Newman, Caro Emerald, Chas & Dave, Bryn Terfel, Gareth Malone with his new choir Voices and Torvill & Dean.
Comedy came from Jason Byrne, Hal Cruttenden, Jimmy Carr and Seann Walsh.
The event will be screened on ITV1 at 7.30pm on Monday 9 December 2013.
Book tickets to Barry Humphries’ Farewell Tour at the London Palladium
Book tickets to Stephen Ward at the Aldwych Theatre
Book tickets to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane
Book tickets to I Can’t Sing! The X-Factor Musical at the London Palladium
Watch a sneak preview of the Royal Variety Performance including Dame Edna
June 25, 2013
A round-up of reviews for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
Sam Mendes directs Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka in a new musical at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane based on Roald Dahl’s classic children’s story Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Critics were largely positive about the show, which didn’t set the reviews on fire with its music, but wowed with the spectacle and visual. Douglas Hodge enjoyed solid notices for his performance as Willy Wonka. See all reviews below including the Guardian, Telegraphy and New York Times.
May 28, 2013
PHOTO FIRST LOOK: Douglas Hodge in character as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Brand new musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory started previews last week at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane ahead of its 25 June 2013 opening night.
The mysterious confectioner has been revealed in this photo of Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka, the first production or character shot to be released from the show.
Roald Dahl’s classic tale is brought to be stage by Sam Mendes in this massive new production that features music and lyrics by the team that created Hairspray The Musical – Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Douglas Hodge is joined by a cast that includes Nigel Planer as Grandpa Joe.
Tickets are available now for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
January 17, 2013
Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Neal Street Productions and Kevin McCormick today announced further casting for Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which opens at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 25th June 2013, directed by Sam Mendes.
Alongside Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka, the cast will include Nigel Planer as Grandpa Joe, Clive Carter as Mr Salt, Jasna Ivir as Mrs Gloop, Paul J Medford as Mr Beauregarde, Iris Roberts as Mrs Teavee and Myra Sands as Grandma Georgina.
Other cast will include Joe Allen, David Birch, Michelle Bishop, Mireia Mambo Bokele, Matthew Clark, Alex Clatworthy, Jennifer Davison, Luke Fetherston, Nia Fisher, Kate Graham, Clare Halse, Mark Iles, Daniel Ioannou, Kieran Jae, Jane McMurtrie, Natalie Moore-Williams, Sherrie Pennington, Damien Poole, Paul Saunders, Jack Shalloo and Jay Webb.
Further casting to be announced.
When Charlie wins a golden ticket to the weird and wonderful Wonka Chocolate Factory, it’s the chance of a lifetime to feast on the sweets he’s always dreamed of. But beyond the gates astonishment awaits, as down the sugary corridors, and amongst the incredible edible delights, the five lucky winners discover not everything is as sweet as it seems.
ROALD DAHL’s deliciously dark tale of young Charlie Bucket and the mysterious confectioner Willy Wonka comes to life in a brand new West End musical directed by Academy Award® winner Sam Mendes.
Featuring ingenious stagecraft, the wonder of the original story that has captivated the world for almost 50 years is brought to life with music by Marc Shaiman, and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman (Grammy® winners for Hairspray; Smash), a book by award-winning playwright and adaptor David Greig (The Bacchae; Tintin In Tibet), set and costume designs by Mark Thompson (Mamma Mia!; One Man, Two Guvnors) and choreography by Peter Darling (Billy Elliot; Matilda).
Douglas Hodge is a four time Olivier-nominated actor/director, who has worked at the National Theatre, the RSC, Shakespeare’s Globe and the Royal Court Theatre. On Broadway, he recently starred at the American Airlines Theatre in the title role of Cyrano de Bergerac, for the Roundabout Theatre Company. He won the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his Broadway debut in La Cage Aux Folles, having already won the Olivier Award for the same performance in London. For ten years he worked closely with Harold Pinter, and he was Associate Director at the Donmar from 2007 to 2009. He has released two albums of his own compositions ‘Cowley Road Songs’ and ‘Nightbus’, and won the Stiles and Drewe 2012 Best New Song Award for ‘Powercut’. Alongside numerous television credits, his feature films include Vanity Fair, Robin Hood, the soon to be released Serena, and Diana – in which he plays Paul Burrell, butler to Diana, Princess of Wales.
This world premiere musical is produced by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Neal Street Productions and Kevin McCormick.
October 15, 2012
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the spectacular new musical at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane based on Roald Dahl’s much-loved book.
Featuring young Charlie Bucket and the madcap confectioner Willy Wonka, Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Choclate Factory is brought to life in this major new West End musical directed by Oscar-winner Sam Mendes (Skyfall).
Starring Olivier and Tony-award winner Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka, this spectacular new musical features stunning sets and costumes by Mark Thompson (Mamma Mia!), breathtaking choreography by Peter Darling (Billy Elliot The Musical; Matilda The Musical) and acclaimed music and lyrics by the team that created Hairspray The Musical – Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
Directed by Academy Award-winner Sam Mendes, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is one of the biggest and most spectacular shows you will ever see.
In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie Bucket wins a golden ticket to visit the weird, wonderful world of the Wonka Chocolate Factory. For five lucky winners it is the sweet-tooth chance-in-a-lifetime to venture into the sugary world of chocolate paradise. But not everything is as sweet as it seems in this darkly comic tale of chocolate gardens and Oompa-Loompas.
The cast includes Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka; Nigel Planer as Grandpa Joe; Clive Carter as Mr Salt; Jasna Ivir as Mrs Gloop; Paul J Medford as Mr Beauregarde; Iris Roberts as Mrs Teavee; Billy Boyle as Grandpa George; Roni Page as Grandma Josephine; Myra Sands as Grandma Georgina; Michelle Bishop as Mrs Pratchett; Alex Clatworthy as Mrs Bucket; Jack Shalloo as Mr Bucket; and Kate Graham as Cherry.
Theatre: Theatre Royal Drury Lane
October 12, 2012
Acclaimed actor Douglas Hodge set to play Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Douglas Hodge has had a long and varied career but headlining a major new, big-budget West End musical that has Broadway ambitions and Skyfall director Sam Mendes at the helm is a watershed moment for the star.
For in May this year he will start performances as Willy Wonka in Roald Dahl’s much-loved and much-filmed Charlie And The Chocolate Factory (Theatre Royal Drury Lane London from 18 May 2013).
Hodge’s career runs the full gamut, from stage to screen, from drama to musicals, with a bit of directing and writing in there for good measure.
On stage he won Oliver and Tony Awards for his performance as Albie in La Cage aux Folles in the West End and on Broadway. National Theatre works includes A Matter of Life and Death, Betrayal, Blinded by the Sun, Pericles and King Lear. Almeida work includes No Man’s Land, Moonlight at the Almeida and Comedy and Coriolanus. Other West End work includes Inadmissible Evidence at the Donmar, Guys and Dolls at the Piccadilly, Dumb Show at the Royal Court, Titus Andronicus at the Globe, The Collection/The Lover at the Donmar and A Winter’s Tale at the RSC and Roundhouse.
On TV Douglas Hodge has been seen in shows including One Night, Outnumbered, Skins, Mansfield Park and Middlemarch – and soon to air drama Coup, and his film roles include playing Paul Burrell alongside Naomi Watts in forthcoming Princess of Wales movie Diana, Robin Hood and Vanity Fair.
Further casting for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane is to be announced shortly.
September 7, 2012
Sam Mendes casts Douglas Hodge in new West End production of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.
The actor Douglas Hodge is to take on his most high-profile stage project next year when he plays the iconic role of Willy Wonka in a major new stage musical of Roald Dahl’s Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.
The £10 million production will be directed by Sam Mendes, who is currently working on the next James Bond movie Skyfall, and will open at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in June 2013, following previews from 18 May.
Hodge follows a number of high-profile actors who have played the chocolate svengali including Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp, who played the role in movie adaptations of Dahl’s popular children’s book.
Douglas Hodge’s career spans the full breadth of acting, from stage drama and musicals to TV and film. His stage career includes a long association with the work of Harold Pinter, Olivier and Tony Awards for his role as female impersonator Albin in La Cage Aux Folles, directing a number of productions and writing a musical. On screen his roles have included Middlemarch for the BBC and Vanity Fair.
His next project, opening this month, is to play Cyrano de Bergerac for the Roundabout Theatre Company in New York directed by Jamie Lloyd.
Olivier Award winning choreographer Peter Darling, who won an award this year for his work on Matilda The Musical and choreographed the movie and stage versions of Billy Elliot, will choreograph the show, with set and costumes by acclaimed designer Mark Thompson (One Man, Two Guvnors, Mamma Mia!).
The show will be produced by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Kevin McCormick and Neal Street Productions – the company owned by Caro Newling and Sam Mendes and who also produce that other big movie-to-musical show Shrek The Musical at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
The show will have a book by David Greig, with songs by Hairspray duo Marc Shaiman and Scott Whitmann.
September 3, 2012
Charlie and The Chocolate Factory to replace Shrek at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
The producers of Shrek The Musical have announced that the show is to close at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London on 24 February 2013. The show opened at Drury Lane on 14 June 2011.
Based on the hit movie franchise, the London production was deemed to be the best production so far following a short and costly Broadway run in 2009. The show is expected to go on a UK tour in 2014.
Shrek producer Bill Damaschke, who is Chief Creative Officer for DreamWorks Animation, said that, “it is not without sadness that we have decided to leave next year”. DreamWorks plans to bring its productions of Madagascar Live!, and How To Train Your Dragon to the UK in 2013.
Sam Mendes and Caro Newling of Neal Street Productions, who manage the production in the UK, will now produce Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the venue next year, directed by Mendes. They have been searching for a large-enough home for the musical for a number of months, with the Theatre Royal Drury Lane always top of the list.
Shrek The Musical has book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire, music by Jeanine Tesori and is based on William Steig’s book and the DreamWorks animated movies. Direction is by Jason Moore and Rob Ashford, with designs & costumes by Tim Hatley.
The show currently stars Dean Chisnall as Shrek, Neil McDermott as Lord Farquaad, Carley Stenson as Princess Fiona and Richard Blackwood as Donkey.