Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

On Tuesday evening we (myself and my three youngest children) hopped on the train into London’s West End to go to the theatre!

It was a crazy, mad rush! My twins had a birthday party to attend first straight after school, in a play centre where they ran around for almost two hours! We left there a few minutes early to race to the train station!

Our tickets were for the 7.30pm performance, which obviously meant a late finish, on a school night too but I figured with the end of term a couple of days later, my kids would soon be able to catch up on lost sleep! From the tube station at Covent Garden we walked to the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, taking the wrong turn at one point, which meant we ended up running to get there in time!

Phew! It was exhausting….. so I hoped Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was going to be worth it!

And of course it was!

It was amazing!

Academy award winning Director Sam Mendes has brought Roald Dahl’s famous story to the West End in spectacular fashion!

We had great seats, in the royal circle, with a fantastic view of the stage. I’ve wanted to see this show for ages and I was mega excited. As were my children. After all the racing around, I was worried they might be just too tired to sit through the whole show but they were incredibly enthusiastic and couldn’t take their eyes off the stage for a second!

The opening scenes introduced us to Charlie and his family, primarily his grandparents, who were brilliant! They were hilarious and endearing, bringing the fun to the early part of the show which was emotional in parts, due to the family’s poverty.

Little Charlie was fantastic. He had just the right mix of vulnerability and courage, and his gorgeous little singing voice was amazing!

The whole of the first half leads up to Charlie finally finding his Golden Ticket. The other winners are announced first… one by one, by newslfash on a huge makeshift TV screen. I loved this part of the show, it was brilliantly done I thought and gave each character a chance to introduce themselves to us.

First there was Augustus, the fat greedy kid from Germany, with his mother (I think they were my favourite pair!) then it was Veruca, the spoilt little rich kid from England who was with her father. Then came Violet, the media crazy, gum chewing pop star wannabe from America, with her dad and lastly, Mike, a crazed video game obsessive who was with his Mum!

It’s fantastic when Charlie finally gets hold of his Golden Ticket. His Grandpa accompanies him and the interval comes just after the kids arrive at the Factory and meet Willy Wonka himself for the very first time.

charlie and the chocolate factory

The second act takes the audience on a fantastic journey into the magical chocolate factory! It’s a feast for the eyes and fills you with anticipation as you wait to see where they go and how the sets will look.

None of it disappoints. Each room they enter is as wonderful as the last.

I have to mention the Oompa Loompa’s… they were incredible! My children were fascinated by them. They were trying to figure out how they looked small, but it was very clever costumes that did the trick! Some of their costumes lit up in one thrilling scene.

The sets and special effects were amazing.

My daughter loved the scene where Violet changed into a big fat blueberry!

My twins thought the Nut room where Veruca was picked out as a ‘bad nut’ was the best bit – they loved the giant squirrels ridden by Oopma Loompas that took her away!

charlie and the chocolate factory theatre

My favourite scene though had to be at the end, where Charlie and Willy Wonka took flight in the glass elevator. It was stunning and literally looked as though it was going to fly over our heads!

We absolutely loved the show, it received a great big thumbs up from my children. And even though it was a late finish for us on a school night…. it was so worth it!

We have talked about it non stop since and have told all our friends to go and see it!

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has performances Monday to Saturdays at 7.30pm and matinees on Wednesday and Saturday. Tickets vary greatly in price so do some shopping around!

I would highly recommend going to see the show, if you love musicals you’ll love this, and so will the kids!

Check out this trailer for the show to see for yourself!

 

We were given complimentary tickets to see the show in return for a honest review. Words and opinions all my own.
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