Published on January 10th, 2020 | by Alex Novus


After six wondrous months and hundreds of thousands of deliciously happy customers, the time has now come for Willy Wonka to close his factory in Melbourne and move it to Brisbane. Only three more weeks remain before the factory gates close for good at Her Majesty’s Theatre on 2 February. Hurry, this is the last chance in Melbourne to experience the wonders of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Melbourne has embraced Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Both audiences and critics have heaped acclaim on the production, with many performances selling out. All ages are loving the familiar story, the colourful characters and especially the Oompa-Loompas!

A glorumptiously good time” – Herald Sun

Glorious, Stage Wizardry, Marvellously Bright” – The Age

“ ★★★★★ Solid Gold” – Daily Telegraph

A chocolate box of tricks and special effects” – Stage Whispers

Wonderful theatre magic, for both little and big kids alike” – Aussie Theatre

Producers John Frost, Craig Donnell, Warner Bros Theatre Ventures, Langley Park Productions and Neal Street Productions are thrilled with the success. “The world fell in love with Roald Dahl’s bewitching tale when the book was released, then filmgoers adored the 1971 film with Gene Wilder. Now this fabulous cast is enchanting audiences with the story once again brought to life on stage,” said John Frost. ”This is such a wonderful story for generations to share. Parents love sharing the Willy Wonka film from their childhood with the whole family, and grandparents love taking their grandkids.

Five boys share the role of Charlie Bucket in Melbourne in this delicious tale, Benjamin Belsey, Elijah Slavinskis, Edgar Stirling, Lenny Thomas and Lachlan Young. Charlie lives with his mother and his four grandparents in a little wooden house near a great town, and is the final child to find a Golden Ticket.

Willy Wonka, the most amazing, fantastic, extraordinary chocolate maker the world has ever seen, is played by Paul Slade Smith. Slade Smith was part of the original Broadway cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, appearing as Grandpa George, and most recently appeared in the Broadway revival of My Fair Lady at Lincoln Center.

Ninety and a half year old Grandpa Joe, an enthusiastic storyteller and eternal optimist, is played by One of Australia’s most experienced musical theatre performers, John O’May. John is probably best known for his portrayal of Che in the original Australian production of Evita, and Monsieur Andre, a role he played for three years in the original Australian production of The Phantom of The Opera. In the role of Mrs Bucket, a kind, caring mother and a woman of few words, is Lucy Maunder. Most recently Lucy played songwriter Cynthia Weil in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, and prior to that toured New Zealand, Adelaide and Perth in Matilda: The Musical, in which she played Miss Honey. For the Gordon Frost Organisation, Lucy played Lara in Dr Zhivago and Rizzo in Grease.

Jake Fehily and Octavia Barron Martin play Augustus Gloop and Mrs Gloop, Karina Russell and Stephen Anderson are Veruca Salt and Mr Salt, Jayme-Lee Hanekom plays Violet Beauregard with Madison McKoy as Mr Beauregard, and Harrison Riley and Jayde Westaby are Mike Teavee and his mother Mrs Teavee. Completing the wonderfully talented cast are Johanna Allen, Sheridan Anderson, Hayden Baum, Kanen Breen, Bayley Edmends, Bronte Florian, Todd Goddard, Madison Green, David Hammond, Sasha Lian-Diniz, Aaron Lynch, Jordan Malone, Kassie Martin, Phoenix Mendoza, Joseph Naim, Adam Noviello, Glen Oliver, Danielle O’Malley, Jackson Reedman, Emma Russell, Taylor Scanlan and Thalia Smith.

Step inside a world of pure imagination. Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the perfect recipe for a delectable treat: songs from the original film including “Pure Imagination”, “The Candy Man” and “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket”, alongside a toe-tapping and ear-tickling new score from the songwriters of Hairspray.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is perhaps Roald Dahl’s best-known story and has proved to be one of the most enduring children’s books of all time. The story of Charlie Bucket, the five Golden Tickets, the Oompa-Loompas and the amazing Willy Wonka has become firmly embedded in our culture since it was first published in 1964. Conservative estimates suggest the original book has sold over 20 million copies worldwide; it is now available in 61 languages.

Join us in the final weeks of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne. Be prepared for the Oompa-Loompas, incredible inventions, the great glass elevator and more, more, more at this everlasting showstopper!

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About the Author'

While not travelling, reading, gaming, watching films AND writing reviews and articles, Alex loves exploring the shops of Melbourne searching for classic pop culture trinkets.

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