A musical based on Roald Dahl’s book ‘Charlie And The Chocolate Factory’ is to open in London next year with Bond director Sam Mendes at the helm.
Scheduled for June 2013, it will be the first time the celebrated book has been transferred to the West End.
[Related story: Gene Wilder's Wonka costume to be auctioned]
The ‘Charlie And The Chocolate Factory’ musical will be an odd change of pace for Mendes, whose latest film, the 23rd Bond film ‘Skyfall’, is heading to cinemas in October.
The production will take over the London Palladium following a preview period and will have new songs written for it by Marc Shaiman and Scott Whittman.
The book was first adapted for a movie version in 1971 by Mel Stuart and famously starred Gene Wilder as the factory-owning eccentric. It focused more on Wonka than Charlie, hence its title ‘Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory’.
It was adapted again in 2005 by Tim Burton with Johnny Depp starring as the eccentric chocolate factory owner.
Dahl’s classic tale has also been adapted into a video game and an opera. There’s even a Wonka brand of chocolate owned by Nestle.
‘The mysterious Willy Wonka is opening his Chocolate Factory for just one day,’ reads the synopsis for the new musical, ‘and for Charlie Bucket it promises to be a mouth-watering chance to feast his eyes on sweets beyond his wildest imagination.
‘Academy Award-winning film and theatre director Sam Mendes will bring Roald Dahl’s much-loved classic to life in this world premiere stage production.’
The musical of ‘Charlie And The Chocolate Factory’ follows the massive critical and commercial success of ‘Matilda’, which was also adapted from one of Dahl’s books.