Following its star-studded opening last night, Sam Mendes’ production of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory has extended its run to 31 May 2014, with an additional half a million prized golden tickets released for the much talked about musical.
Prior to yesterday’s press night, which saw a wealth of well-known performers from across the globe gather at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane to see Roald Dahl’s classic tale in all its musical glory, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory had been seen by more than 70,000 people since it began previews in May.
Among the guests gracing the glamorous red carpet last night were Uma Thurman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rupert Penry Jones, Jessica Raine, Matthew Broderick, Jane Krakowski, Matthew Morrison, Andrew Scott and Tamsin Greig, as well as many of Dahl’s family including his daughters Lucy and Ophelia Dahl and widow Felicity Dahl.
Starring Douglas Hodge as eccentric confectioner Willy Wonka, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory tells the story of Charlie Bucket, a young boy from a poor family who becomes one of five lucky children to visit his top-secret factory, where weird and wonderful creatures including Oompa-Loompas and dancing squirrels await along with rooms that are choc-a-block with mouth-watering treats.
In his first night review of the production The Telegraph’s Charles Spencer said of the Olivier Award-winning actor: “Douglas Hodge is a splendidly charismatic and disconcerting Willy Wonka, brilliantly combining jokes with a twitchy hint of the psycho,” while The Guardian’s Michael Billington praised “Mendes’s skill in masterminding a lavish bonanza of a musical without letting us forget that Dahl’s book is a morality play in which vice is punished and virtue gets its edible reward.”
Featuring a book by David Greig, music and lyrics by Hairspray duo Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, and designs by Mark Thompson, the production’s cast also includes Nigel Planer, Clive Carter, Jasna Ivir, Paul J Medford, Iris Roberts, Billy Boyle, Roni Page and Myra Sands.