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!
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”, 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 five 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 20 million copies worldwide; it is now available in 61 languages.
For the upcoming Australian production, the four boys who will play the role of Charlie in the spectacular new musical Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in Sydney are Oliver Alkhair (11 years of age, from Panania), Tommy Blair (11, Engadine), Xion Jarvis (9, Burwood Heights) and Ryan Yeates (13, Canada Bay) will share the role of Charlie Bucket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Charlie 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.
Willy Wonka, the most amazing, fantastic, extraordinary chocolate maker the world has ever seen, will be played by Paul Slade Smith. Slade Smith is currently appearing in the Broadway revival of My Fair Lady at Lincoln Center, and was part of the original Broadway cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, appearing as Grandpa George. Previously he performed in Finding Neverland on Broadway, and took over the roles of Charles Frohman and Captain Hook from Kelsey Grammer. He has also appeared in Wicked as Doctor Dillamond and The Phantom of the Opera.
Ninety and a half year old Grandpa Joe, an enthusiastic storyteller and eternal optimist, will be 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 1,900 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. His extensive career includes roles for the Sydney Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company and Nimrod, as well as starring roles in the musicals The Producers, Man of La Mancha, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Hello, Dolly! and Camelot.
In the role of Mrs Bucket, a kind, caring mother and a woman of few words, will be 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. For the Gordon Frost Organisation, Lucy played Lara in Dr Zhivago and Rizzo in Grease.
Other cast members include Jake Fehily and Octavia Barron Martin as Augustus Gloop and Mrs Gloop, Karina Russell and Stephen Anderson as Veruca Salt and Mr Salt, Jayme-Lee Hanekom and Madison McKoy as Violet Beauregard and Mr Beauregard, and Harrison Riley and Jayde Westaby as 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 and Craig Donnell are delighted to announce Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is partnering with Make-A-Wish® Australia to bring hope, strength and joy to children facing life-threatening illnesses.
As the official charity partner of the Sydney musical production, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will host a Gala Performance on Thursday 21 February 2019 at 7.30pm with the proceeds from 500 ticket sales going directly back to Make-a-Wish. Tickets can be purchased at www.makeawish.org.au/charlie
The funds raised from the 500 Gala performance ticket sales, plus other initiatives on the night, will be donated to Make-A-Wish, helping to fund the wishes of critically ill children Australia wide.
Photo: Ryan Foust (c) Joan Marcus Original 2017 Broadway Production