Children transformed into mice; aunts flattened by giant peaches; a giraffe, pelican and monkey window-cleaning team. There are very few writers who have quite the absurd and wonderful imagination of Roald Dahl. As kids we were swept up in Dahl’s storytelling and now as adults we get to relive his most insane fictional creation, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, on the London stage. Yes, one of the most hyped about musicals of the year (bar The Book of Mormon, of course!) has finally arrived at the west end and us lucky Topshop girls were more than happy to check out a preview.
Involving oompa-loompas and chocolate rivers it’s a story that seems inconceivable to imagine in “real life.” But thanks to director Sam Mendes (yes, of James Bond fame) and his team of stage magicians, Drury Lane theatre has been transformed into a technicolour dream world in which anything seems possible. There’s human-sized squirrels, floating elevators – but don’t let us spoilt it! Half of the beauty is in the reveal. For us ladies who love a chocolate bar about as much as we love a good outfit, the costumes of course shone and we took a particular liking to Mike Teevee’s mother who wore a pretty spectacular ‘50s style tea dress.
As for the lovely lot on stage, the cast can do no wrong. Inspired by the likes of David Bowie and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke Douglas Hodge’s portrayal of Willy Wonka is worth a trip in itself and the very badly behaved four children (Salt, Buregarde, Teevee and Gloop) are perfectly played as every parent’s worst nightmare. Music-wise, truth be told, we’re still pining for Tim Minchin’s Matilda style score but can’t pretend not to love the show’s standout tune, Pure Imagination. We were humming it all the way home!
Get tickets for Charlie and the Chocolate factory, here.