The Cast Of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory Chat Creating A Musical For New Audiences

They're coming to Dublin!

Credit: Johan Persson

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, The Musical is coming to Dublin!

The new production of the West End and Broadway hit is having it’s Irish premiere this December, perfect for Christmas gifting, getting the family together and treating the little ones in your life.

This magical, nostalgic show will bring you right back to the Road Dahl classic from your childhood!

For those of you who need a refresher, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory tells the tale of young golden ticket winner Charlie Bucket and the mysterious confectionary wizard Willy Wonka.

Credit: Johan Persson

We’ve seen some iconic iterations of Wonka so far, and this version will have you equally as enchanted as the ones who came before him. Speaking to STELLAR, Gareth Snook (Willy Wonka) shared how he brings his audience on a journey.

“It’s interesting because the other incarnations of him have been on film, but of course this is a musical theatre adaptation and you’ve got an audience, you’ve got 2000 people sitting out there. I think that is the element that feeds me – it’s the audience.

“The way I look at it is I’m taking the winners on the tour of the factory too. I like to regard the audience as golden ticket winners as well, so I take them with me!”

Credit: Johan Persson

As for how he’s brought his version of Wonka to life, Gareth shares that it’s all in the humour, and showing Wonka’s softer side.

“I always think Willy is a bit misunderstood, people think he’s a bit sinister. He uses a very wicked sense of humour to get the audience on his side.  Then, when you can trust him, it’s great fun. And the audience can relax! It’s humour I use a lot, and he’s got a great sense of humour”. 

When it comes to setting this musical apart from others, Gareth feels that the design is “extraordinary”.

“It’s truly a show of two halves. In the first half, you meet the bucket family; in their poor shack with the leaking roof and no food. And then you meet these extraordinary golden ticket winners. In Act Two you go inside the factory, and your eyes pop out of your head! The extraordinary video wall, the colours, the depictions…it’s fabulous.”

Credit: Johan Persson

Most of all, Gareth loves how universal the musical is. “That’s how it’s endured – because it’s really and truly a family show. Kids from seven and upwards love it. There is so much in it for the children, like when Violet Beauregarde bounces across the stage as a giant blueberry! The kids go wild. But then, also, in our adaptation, it has a sophisticated humour too. Theres something for everyone.”

Speaking of blueberries, STELLAR also caught up with Marisha Morgan, who plays Violet Beauregarde, and her co-star Robin Simoes da Silva, who plays Augustus Gloop. 

Robin and Marisha shared their highlights of the show with us. For Marisha, it’s an “obvious” choice. “My favourite moment is probably an obvious moment, but it’s when I blow up into a blueberry. It’s such an iconic moment, everyone knows she’s going to blow up – but it’s like, how is she going to blow up?!”

Credit: Johan Persson

For Robin, it’s a song toward the end of the musical that excites him the most. “Near the end of the show, when the whole ensemble starts singing candy man with everyone, Charlie and Mrs. Bucket and Grandpa Joe…it’s a real goosebump moment when all the harmonies come in.”

Both actors feel that the magic of this show lies in the way the production has refreshed it.

“I think we’ve done a lot to aspects of the story that might have seemed outdated,” shared Robin. “We’ve got new oompa loompas, which is very exciting for the audience to see! It’s great to see peoples reactions to what’s unique to our show.”

Credit: Johan Persson

“We’ve found a way to make it fresh and fun”, Marisha added. “Even though you know what’s going to happen, you don’t know how, which keeps it really exciting.” 

Alongside the dazzling displays and the hilarious dialogue of this marvellous show is the gorgeous score.  Memorable songs from the iconic 1970s film include ‘The Candy Man’ and ‘Pure Imagination’, but there’s also a host of new numbers by the multi award-winning composer and lyricist of Hairspray and Mary Poppins Returns, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

You’re in for a sensational adventure!

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, The Musical will run from 05 December 2023 – 07 January 2024 in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. You can buy tickets from €26.50 here.