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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory announce new cast

March 25, 2015 

West End hit Charlie and the Chocolate Factory announce new cast

New casting for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory announced today including that two-thirds of the current cast will be staying for another year in Wonka’s factory.

Directed by Sam Mendes, the new cast will include amongst others Jonathan Slinger as Willy Wonka, Kraig Thornber as Grandpa George, Lara Denning as Mrs Bucket and Mark Oxtoby as Jerry with originating company members Ross Dawes and Derek Hagen taking over the roles of Mr Salt and Mr Bucket respectively.  Cast members signing up for another fabulous year include  Myra Sands, Roni Page, Jasna Ivir, Ross Dawes, Paul J. Medford, Derek Hagen, Kate Graham and Joe Allen, who have all been with the show since it opened in Spring 2013.

From 4 May 2015 the full cast will include Jonathan Slinger, Barry James, Ross Dawes, Josefina Gabrielle, Jasna Ivir, Paul J. Medford, Lara Denning, Derek Hagen, Roni Page, Myra Sands, Kraig Thornber, Joe Allen, Meg Astin, Joel Baylis, Andy Brady, Simon Campbell, Georgia Carling, Andrew Carthy, Collette Coleman, Dan Cooke, Divine Cresswell, Billy Cullum, Connor Dowling, Kelly Edwards, Gemma Fuller, Kate Graham, Sam Lathwood, Lucinda Lawrence, Mark Oxtoby, Matthew Rowland, Rebecca Seale, Steven Serlin, Gregory Sims, Robert Tregoning, Tara Verloop, Michelle White, Mark Williamson.

Directed by Sam Mendes, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory features ingenious stagecraft, with music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, a book by award-winning playwright and adaptor David Greig, set and costume designs by Mark Thompson and choreography by Peter Darling.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is currently booking until June 2016 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

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Meet Jonathan Slinger the new Willy Wonka

March 25, 2015 

Jonathan Slinger talks about his new role – Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

As the hit West End show Charlie and the Chocolate Factory announces its new cast, Jonathan Slinger talks about taking on the iconic role of Willy Wonka.

Jonathan Slinger has a stage career spanning two decades and is recognised as one of the foremost Shakespearean actors of today. His extensive appearances with the RSC include the title roles in recent productions of Hamlet, Macbeth, Richard II and Richard III; Malvolio in Twelfth Night, Prospero in The Tempest and Dromio and Puck in The Comedy of Errors and A Midsummer Night’s Dream respectively.

His credits at The Globe include The Maid’s Tragedy and The Winter’s Tale. His National Theatre credits stretch back 20 years with roles in Richard II, with subsequent credits there including Power,The Duchess of Malfi and The Coast of Utopia. Other theatre includes Yes, Prime Minister at Chichester Festival Theatre, Uncle Vanya at the Young Vic and As You Like It at the Royal Exchange Theatre. Jonathan made his musical theatre debut playing the role of Officer Lockstock in Jamie Lloyd’s acclaimed production of Urinetown at the St James Theatre and in the London West End transfer.

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Photos: New portraits for Charlie & The Chocolate Factory cast

March 20, 2015 

Producers of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory release new portraits of Alex Jennings and the five ticket holders.Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Portrait

The hit West End show Charlie and the Chocolate Factory today released new portraits of Alex Jennings as Willy Wonka, with the five lucky golden-ticket winners – Charlie Bucket, Augustus Gloop, Violet Beauregarde, Veruca Salt and Mike Teavee.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is directed by Sam Mendes. Featuring ingenious stagecraft, the wonder of the original story that has captivated the world for 50 years is brought to life with music by Marc Shaiman, and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, a book by award-winning playwright and adaptor David Greig, set and costume designs by Mark Thompson and choreography by Peter Darling.

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory is playing at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane

November 15, 2014 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the spectacular new musical at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane based on Roald Dahl’s much-loved book.

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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 Award winner Alex Jennings 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.

THE STORY

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

The cast includes Alex Jennings as Willy Wonka, Barry James as Grandpa Joe, Josefina Gabrielle as Mrs Teavee, and Richard Dempsey and Kirsty Malpass as Charlie’s parents Mr and Mrs Bucket.

The show also stars Clive Carter (Mr Salt), Jasna Ivir (Mrs Gloop), Paul J Medford (Mr Beauregarde), Billy Boyle (Grandpa George), Roni Page (Grandma Josephine) and Myra Sands (Grandma Georgina) will all continue in the cast, and new ensemble members include Dan Cooke, Divine Cresswell, Connor Dowling, Gemma Fuller, Robert Jones, Matthew Rowland, Rebecca Seale, Gregory Sims, Paulo Teixeira and Laura Tyrer.

REVIEWS

“London’s Golden ticket” BBC Radio London
“Sam Mendes whips up a tasty confection that’s rich, dark and not too sweet” Sunday Times
“Sam Mendes masterminds a lavish feast of a musical” The Guardian
“Sam Mendes’s glossy, riotously colourful production remains as sweet as ever” Evening Standard
“Dahl’s superb novel is given a rip roaring rave of a production” Time Out
“A tremendously inventive show” Evening Standard
“Dazzling Charlie is a choc full of delights” Daily Express
“The hottest ticket in town” Time Out
“A fabulous spectacle” Daily Mail
“The year’s biggest blockbuster musical “ Daily Telegraph
“The West End’s biggest, most lavish stage musical, not just of the year but possibly any year” Sunday Express

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory extends at Theatre Royal Drury Lane

September 11, 2014 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory announces more dates at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and celebrations for Roald Dahl Day.

Alex Jennnigs as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Alex Jennnigs as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Hit Roald Dahl musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is extending booking at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

The show will now be booking until 31 October 2015 and has sold over one million tickets so far in London.

September marks the 50th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s original children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and celebrations will include the show hosting a Puffin Virtually Live event on 15 September – a national live-streamed event for schoolchildren. Also on Roald Dahl Day, which is the author’s birthday on 13 September, over 50 volunteers including some of the show’s production team, will take part in a sponsored skydive dressed as Oompa-Loompas in aid of the Roald Dahl Marvellous Children’s Charity.

The award-winning West End production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory features a cast that includes Alex Jennnigs as Willy Wonka, and is directed by Sam Mendes (Cabaret, Skyfall), with music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, a book by award-winning playwright and adaptor David Greig, set and costume designs by Mark Thompson and choreography by Peter Darling.

The Official Cast Recording album is now available on Sony Records, on CD and download.

BOOK

Book tickets to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at Theatre Royal Drury Lane

LINKS

Amazon: Buy the Charlie and the Choclate Factory cast recording

Broadway shows take the ALS Ice Bucket challenge

August 21, 2014 

It seems that Broadway shows are doing their bit for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge fundraising effort.

The ALS Association has raised millions of dollars over the last few days with their viral Ice Bucket Challenge — asking people and groups to pour iced water over themselves or donate to the cause.

And Broadway shows have stepped up.

See videos below from the Broadway casts of The Book of Mormon, The Lion King, ONCE and Newsies.

West End Joins In

Also happening today – West End shows are starting to rise to the challenge – with the cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane joining in:

Make a donation at ALSA.org.

Videos – Broadway Shows

The Book of Mormon ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The Lion King ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

ONCE The Musical ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Newsies ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

LINKS

ALS – Donate Now
Book Broadway Shows

Top Musicals in London this Summer

May 26, 2014 

What’s playing in London Theatre this Summer
London Musicals This Summer
London Theatre thrives in the summer months, with thousands of extra visitors to the capital and plenty of events and attractions to keep everyone entertained.

West End musicals are famed around the world for the quality of their performances, and the sheer scale and spectacle of the shows.

Check out our guide to the best musicals hitting the West End this Summer.

IF YOU LOVE…

★ CLASSIC BROADWAY SHOWS, GO SEE:

The Pajama Game

The Pajama Game

There’s nothing like a Broadway show to get your toes tapping this summer. Sir Richard Eyre’s joyous new production of classic Fifties musical The Pajama Game has scooped rave reviews from critics including Five Stars from the hugely respected Guardian and Telegraph national newspapers. The Gershwin’s musical Porgy and Bess remains a Broadway standard and this summer you can see it in the beautiful setting of the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park. Under the stewardship of Timothy Sheader the Open Air Theatre has scooped numerous awards and its annual summer musical has become a must-see show.

★ SEEING THE ORIGINAL PRODUCTION OF A WORLDWIDE HIT, GO SEE:

Miss Saigon

Miss Saigon

British producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh is one of the world’s great showmen having staged musicals in hundreds of countries worldwide and dominating both the West End  and Broadway. All three of his biggest international hits originated in London, and you can now catch them all in their original productions. The Phantom of the Opera, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, continues its extraordinary run at Her Majesty’s Theatre; the world’s longest-running musical, Les Miserables, is riding high at the Queen’s Theatre following the award-winning movie; and Mackintosh’s new production of his classic, epic musical Miss Saigon is now back in the West End at the Prince Edward Theatre.

★ AN AUTHENTIC BRITISH MUSICAL, GO SEE:

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

If you are visiting London then make sure you see a home-grown British musical. Based on the award-winning British movie, Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace is the inspiring and emotional story of a young boy who discovers his true passion for dance, and Billy Elliot now stars West End leading lady Ruthie Henshall.  The worldwide popularity of children’s writer Roald Dahl has given rise to two extraordinary musicals: Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge Theatre has taken the West End and Broadway by storm, featuring music by acclaimed comedian Tim Minchin; and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the blockbuster new musical at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane directed by Sam Mendes (Skyfall) which dazzles with its lavish sets and costumes.

★ A SHOW WHERE YOU KNOW THE SONGS, GO SEE:

The Bodyguard

The Bodyguard

Hit songs from some of the world’s most popular artists play a starring role in these great shows, from Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, to ABBA and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Thriller Live at the Lyric Theatre puts Michael Jackson’s greatest hits centre stage in a high-energy show packed with amazing dancing and singing as a fitting tribute to the King of Pop. Based on the much-loved movie about an international pop singer and her bodyguard, The Bodyguard at the Adelphi Theatre features the songs made famous by the late Whitney Houston. And over at the Novello Theatre, the songs of ABBA are immortalised in sunny Mamma Mia!, set on a Greek Island and a perfect show to catch this summer. Packed with soul standards, The Commitments at the Palace Theatre is based on Alan Parker’s award-winning movie and features soul classics including Night Train, Try A Little Tenderness, In The Midnight Hour and Mustang Sally. And ahead of Clint Eastwood’s major new movie, catch the West End production of Jersey Boys at the Piccadilly Theatre, full of tunes from legendary pop group Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

★ LONDON MUSICALS THAT SHOW BROADWAY HOW IT’S DONE, GO SEE:

The Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon

Yes, these shows may have originated on Broadway but the West End has made them their own with acclaimed productions of these Broadway modern classics. A musical with heart and visual spectacle, Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre tells the untold story of the Wizard of Oz from the perspective of two teenage witches. The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre is one of the funniest shows ever written and has proved a hot ticket in London. John Tiffany’s production of Once, based on the much-loved movie, has made an easy move from Broadway to London’s Phoenix Theatre in this romantic story set in a Dublin pub. For a musical on a breathtaking scale look no further than Disney’s The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre, with music and lyrics from Brits Elton John and Tim Rice. And finally, London has been lucky to attract hot Broadway director Jerry Mitchell (Legally Blonde, Kinky Boots) to stage his hilarious and critically acclaimed new production of Broadway comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, set in the South of France and the perfect way to spend a summer evening in London.

 

Full listings of West End Musicals

playing this summer in London

 

West End Hot Watch: Paulo Teixeira

May 25, 2014 

This week we welcome the talented Paulo Teixeira.

Paulo Teixeira is a West End singer, dancer and actor who recently joined the new cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Paulo in a costume fitting for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Photo: Helen Maybanks

Paulo in a costume fitting for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Photo: Helen Maybanks

Paulo Teixeira

Paulo Teixeira

Currently swinging in Sam Mendes’ big-budget production, he joined the new cast on 19 May along with newbies including Alex Jennings as Willy Wonka, Barry James as Grandpa Joe and Josefina Gabrielle as Mrs Teavee.

Having trained at the Performers College, Paulo made his West End debut in We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre.

He has also appeared in the UK tour of High School Musical 2, the European tour of Twelve Irish Tenors, and recently as Chistery and understudy Boq in Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre.

Other credits include Wild Party, The Front Page, Twelve Days of Christmas, and Pushing the Limits.

Paulo is also an Associate Choreographer for Andrew Harding Productions, and models and dances for a range of agencies.

LINKS

Paulo on Twitter

BOOK

Book tickets to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane

PHOTOS

Photo gallery of Paulo Teixeira. Photos courtesy of Nicholas Dawkes, www.nicholasdawkesphotography.co.uk

Paulo Teixeira. Photo courtesy of Nicholas Dawkes, www.nicholasdawkesphotography.co.uk. © Nicholas Dawkes Photography Ltd

Paulo Teixeira. Photo courtesy of Nicholas Dawkes, www.nicholasdawkesphotography.co.uk. © Nicholas Dawkes Photography Ltd

Paulo Teixeira. Photo courtesy of Nicholas Dawkes, www.nicholasdawkesphotography.co.uk. © Nicholas Dawkes Photography Ltd

Paulo Teixeira. Photo courtesy of Nicholas Dawkes, www.nicholasdawkesphotography.co.uk. © Nicholas Dawkes Photography Ltd

Paulo Teixeira. Photo courtesy of Nicholas Dawkes, www.nicholasdawkesphotography.co.uk. © Nicholas Dawkes Photography Ltd

Paulo Teixeira. Photo courtesy of Nicholas Dawkes, www.nicholasdawkesphotography.co.uk. © Nicholas Dawkes Photography Ltd

Paulo Teixeira. Photo courtesy of Nicholas Dawkes, www.nicholasdawkesphotography.co.uk. © Nicholas Dawkes Photography Ltd

Paulo Teixeira. Photo courtesy of Nicholas Dawkes, www.nicholasdawkesphotography.co.uk. © Nicholas Dawkes Photography Ltd

Paulo Teixeira. Photo courtesy of Nicholas Dawkes, www.nicholasdawkesphotography.co.uk. © Nicholas Dawkes Photography Ltd

Paulo Teixeira. Photo courtesy of Nicholas Dawkes, www.nicholasdawkesphotography.co.uk. © Nicholas Dawkes Photography Ltd

Paulo Teixeira. Photo courtesy of Nicholas Dawkes, www.nicholasdawkesphotography.co.uk. © Nicholas Dawkes Photography Ltd

Paulo Teixeira. Photo courtesy of Nicholas Dawkes, www.nicholasdawkesphotography.co.uk. © Nicholas Dawkes Photography Ltd

Paulo Teixeira. Photo courtesy of Nicholas Dawkes, www.nicholasdawkesphotography.co.uk. © Nicholas Dawkes Photography Ltd

Paulo Teixeira. Photo courtesy of Nicholas Dawkes, www.nicholasdawkesphotography.co.uk. © Nicholas Dawkes Photography Ltd

Paulo Teixeira. Photo courtesy of Nicholas Dawkes, www.nicholasdawkesphotography.co.uk. © Nicholas Dawkes Photography Ltd

Paulo Teixeira. Photo courtesy of Nicholas Dawkes, www.nicholasdawkesphotography.co.uk. © Nicholas Dawkes Photography Ltd

VIDEO

Paulo doing a spot of synchronized swimming for West End Bares!

Guess who is shaking to win in this Wicked / Oliviers Harlem Shake vid!

MORE PHOTOS

Check out some more images of Paulo here. Can’t see the Image Gallery below? Click here

First Look: Alex Jennings as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

May 19, 2014 

First Look Photo Update: Alex Jennings as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Alex Jennings joins the cast of hit musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tonight at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Taking over from Douglas Hodge, who left the show on Saturday, Jennings plays Willy Wonka in Roald Dahl’s magical story.

Other new cast members to join the show tonight include Barry James as Grandpa Joe, Josefina Gabrielle as Mrs Teavee, and Richard Dempsey and Kirsty Malpass as Charlie’s parents Mr and Mrs Bucket. New ensemble members include Dan Cooke, Divine Cresswell, Connor Dowling, Gemma Fuller, Robert Jones, Matthew Rowland, Rebecca Seale, Gregory Sims, Paulo Teixeira and Laura Tyrer.

Clive Carter (Mr Salt), Jasna Ivir (Mrs Gloop), Paul J Medford (Mr Beauregarde), Billy Boyle (Grandpa George), Roni Page (Grandma Josephine) and Myra Sands (Grandma Georgina) all remain in the cast.

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 is now booking to May 2015.

BOOK

Book tickets to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane

PHOTO

Alex Jennings in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Alex Jennings as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Alex Jennings as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

ALEX JENNINGS in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

May 19, 2014 

Alex Jennings stars as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

ALEX JENNINGS in Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryAlex Jennings has has taken over from Douglas Hodge in the role of Willy Wonka in Sam Mendes’ lavish production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Alex is is one of Britain’s most revered and awarded actors.

He trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and is an associate actor at the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Alex’s many theatre awards include an Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical for My Fair Lady, an Evening Standard Drama Award for Best Actor for The Winter’s Tale, a Helen Hayes Award for Best Actor for Hamlet, an Olivier Award for Best Actor for Peer Gynt, and an Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Comedy and London Theatre Critics Award for Best Actor for Too Clever by Half.

His stage credits include a number of productions at the National including playing Alan Bennett in Untold Stories, Collaborators, Britten in The Habit of Art, Present Laughter, The Alchemist, George Bush in Stuff Happens, His Girl Friday, Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, The Relapse and The Winter’s Tale, Albert Speer and Ghetto

For the RSC his performances include Hamlet (also in New York and Washington), Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (also New York), Measure for Measure, Peer Gynt and Richard II.

Other theatre credits include Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady (Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris), Candide (ENO, Coliseum), The Importance of Being Earnest (Aldwych), The Liar (Old Vic), The Wild Duck (Peter Hall Company), Too Clever by Half and The Country Wife (Manchester Royal Exchange).

His movie work includes Belle, The Queen, Babel, Five Children and It, The Four Feathers, The Wings of the Dove, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and War Requiem.

TV credits include Foyle’s War, Castles in the Sky, Silk, The Lady Vanishes, Lewis, Being Human, Miss Marple, Whitechapel, Hancock and Joan, Cranford, The State Within, Spooks, Poirot, Riot at the Rite, Bad Blood, Hard Times, Ashenden, Inspector Morse and Smiley’s People.

BOOKING

Book tickets to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane

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