Following today’s news that Charlie And The Chocolate Factory has picked up an impressive seven Olivier Awards with MasterCard nominations, the show has announced a new cast including fellow Olivier nominee Josefina Gabrielle.
Musical theatre veteran Gabrielle, who earned a nod today for her critically acclaimed performance in Merrily We Roll Along, will be joined in the new cast by Barry James, Richard Dempsey and Kirsty Malpass, alongside the previously announced Alex Jennings as Willy Wonka from 19 May.
Gabrielle, whose numerous credits include London appearances in West End musicals Sweet Charity, Chicago, The Witches Of Eastwick, Oklahoma!, Carousel and Fame, will play Mrs Teavee, the picture of 1950s housewife perfection who is contending with a very un-1950s computer game-obsessed son.
With a far sweeter child to take under their wing, Dempsey and Malpass will play Charlie Bucket’s parents. Dempsey returns to the West End following A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Noël Coward Theatre and to musicals following the National Theatre’s Honk!. Malpass, who made her West End debut in Jerry Springer The Opera, last appeared in the West End in Chariots Of Fire and boasts musical credits including The Sound Of Music and The Lord Of The Rings.
Completing the new cast is James, who will take over the role of Grandpa Joe from another of today’s Olivier Award nominees, Nigel Planer. While they may be big shoes to fill, James has a wealth of experience under his twice Olivier Award nominated belt. His extensive West End credits include performances in an impressive list of major musicals, from Little Shop of Horrors to The Phantom Of The Opera, and Oliver! to Sweeney Todd.
The newcomers will be joined in Sam Mendes’ family hit that brings Roald Dahl’s magical, chocolatey story to life by original leading cast members Clive Carter, Jasna Ivir, Paul J Medford, Billy Boyle, Roni Page and Myra Sands.