London Lookout: Douglas Hodge Will Bring Pure Imagination to the West End

Theatre News from Across the Pond! While Luner on Theatre might no longer have a West End theatre correspondent, we do work to bring you London theatre news we deem worthy of your knowing! Children and imagination are nothing new to theatre. However, this new West End production will take that to a brand new level. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, set for 2013, has found its leading man. It has been announced Douglas Hodge will play Willy Wonka in the upcoming West End production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Douglas Hodge is a  well known English actor who has worked as an actor, director and musician in both England and here in the United States! He has held a very successful career in London’s famed West End in a variety of productions including Three Sisters, Guys & Dolls, See How They Run, A Matter of Life and Death and Son of the Dragon. His big break that would launch him even more into the spotlight began in 2008 when he appeared as Albin in a production of La Cage Aux Folles at the Menier Chocolate Factory. This production would go on to be mounted again later in the West End and transfer to Broadway. Hodge received both the Olivier Award and Tony Award for his performance in this production.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the classic story of the mysterious chocolate master, Willy Wonka, who opens his factory to the world for one day only. However, the only lucky people who get to experience it are the ones who have found the golden tickets hidden among Wonka’s candy bars. A feast of pure imagination waits before Charlie’s eyes in this new world  production. The new musical will feature a book by David Greig and new songs from Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. The musical is entirely based off Roald Dahl’s classic tale.

Currently, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is set to open at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in June of 2013. An official opening date has not been announced but the show will begin previews on May 18th, 2013. Currently, Shrek the Musicalis playing there but that production is slated to close in February 2012. Hodge is involved in the Roundabout Theatre Company production of Cyrano de Bergerac

Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman

The production will be directed by Academy Award Winner for film and theatre Sam Mendes and feature choreography by Peter Darling. The set and costume design will be by Mark Thompson. Paul Pyant will provide a lighting design, Paul Arditti will provide a sound design and Jon Driscoll will be the video and projection designer. Doug Besterman is in charge of orchestrations and Nicholas Skilbeck is on board as the music director. Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Neal Street Productions and Kevin McCormick will serve as the lead producers.

Many in the West End, a few over here in the United States from a far, are very excited about this new musical upon the heals of the last very successful children’s based musical to hit the West End, Matilda the Musical. That musical is now headed to Broadway and the possibility is never out of the question for this world premiere if all goes well.

Thats all for now from across the pond but Luner on Theatre will continue to bring you any and all West End theatre news we think you need to know! We will continue to bring you more news on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as it develops. For more information, check out Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s Official Website. Be sure to check Luner on Theatre on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter as well! We are constantly updating these pages with information! And of course, check out the rest of Luner on Theatre for all your theatre news you don’t only need but want to know and so much more!

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