Review, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Uk Tour, The Palace Theatre Manchester

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Last night I spent a couple of glorious hours reliving childhood memories watching the Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Uk Tour at the Palace Theatre Manchester. This was one of our most watched movies every Christmas growing up, back when we had only three TV channels.

Charlie, Oliver, Annie and a handful of other movie greats are still part of our festive season family traditions. It’s a much-loved movie in our house; it became even more special when Harry, my work partner in crime and dear friend Donna’s son, spent two years playing Mike Teavee at Drury Lane in the West End.

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Review of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY - THE MUSICAL. The Company. Photo Johan Persson (3)

Review, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Uk Tour, The Palace Theatre Manchester

What Is Charlie And The Chocolate Factory About

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is a popular children’s novel by Roald Dahl, first published in 1964. The story follows the adventures of a young boy named Charlie Bucket. Who wins a golden ticket to visit Willy Wonka’s magical chocolate factory.

The book takes place in a small town where Charlie lives with his impoverished family. Willy Wonka, the eccentric owner of the world-famous chocolate factory, announces a contest where he has hidden five golden tickets inside his chocolate bars. The lucky finders of these tickets will be given a factory tour and a lifetime chocolate supply.

Review at Manchester Palace , CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY - THE MUSICAL. Teddy Hinde 'Mike Teavee' and Company. Photo Johan Persson

A Little About the Show

The first film adaptation of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” released in 1971 as “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” featured Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka and Peter Ostrum as Charlie Bucket. Despite not initially achieving great success at the box office, the film has become a cherished classic. It beautifully captures the whimsical and magical aspects of the story, exploring themes of imagination, greed, and the importance of family.

In 2005, another film adaptation titled Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was directed by Tim Burton. This version starred Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka and Freddie Highmore as Charlie Bucket. Taking a darker and eccentric approach. It showcased Tim Burton’s distinct style and received critical acclaim and commercial success.

Furthermore, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was adapted into a stage musical called Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Musical. Premiering in London’s West End in 2013 and later moving to Broadway in 2017. The musical incorporated new songs and elaborate production design. It seamlessly blended beloved story elements with fresh elements, offering a captivating live experience for theatre enthusiasts.

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY - THE MUSICAL. Gareth Snook 'Willy Wonka' and Company. Photo Johan Persson (4)

My Review of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory

In a word, spectacular. Willy Wonka’s shoes are big shoes to fill. But Gareth Snook filled them perfectly. He brought a John Cleese-type quality to the show, which made it feel as though rather than playing the part as other greats did. He brought a new depth and quality to the character, adding an endearing edge to Wonkas’ cool and bonkers nature.

Haydn Court was the perfect Charlie and had great chemistry with Grandpa Joe (Michael D’Cruze). The cast is too large to mention everyone, but they all shone. It felt like a much-loved story had been brought into the modern day, and it all worked perfectly, including the Oompa Loompas.

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory takes you on a magical journey. This is hard to re-create with such visually stimulating, colourful movies. However, the set is nothing short of genius; the screens and set work seamlessly together to create the perfect storytelling atmosphere to captivate the audience. It was magical, and the score set the scene and had an impact to create the atmosphere. If you want to inject magic into your life, get tickets now.

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY - THE MUSICAL. Gareth Snook 'Willy Wonka' and Company. Photo Johan Persson

Where can I see Charlie And The Chocolate Factory

Charlie And Chocolate Factory is playing at the Palace Theatre in Manchester until 30th July with tickets from £13.00 you can then see it at…

  • Sunderland Empire, Wed 2 Aug – Sun 13 Aug 2023
  • Bristol Hippodrome, Wed 20 Sep – Sun 8 Oct 2023
  • Liverpool Empire, Wed 8 Nov – Sun 26 Nov 2023
  • King’s Theatre, Glasgow, Tue 23 Jan – Sun 4 Feb 2024

Please note I was gifted tickets in return for an honest review, but all opinions are my own, and you can’t argue with a little pure imagination and magic. Check out more theatre reviews.

Review at Manchester Palace Theatre, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY - THE MUSICAL. The Company. Photo Johan Persson (2)

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