Thursday, 21 June 2012

A Roald Dahl Revolution: Who is Your Next Willy Wonka?

Here is some very exciting news! It has just been announced that a stage musical of Roald Dahl’s classic book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will open in London’s West End in June 2013 at the London Palladium. It follows the success of the Olivier award winning, RSC production of Matilda The Musical, based on the book by the same author, which is about to open in Broadway!
This got us thinking here. Who would play the best Willy Wonka? And what other books by Roald Dahl would make brilliant musicals?

Potential Willy Wonkas?

Russell Brand has the eccentricity, the dandy style, the humour and the hair to pull this role off perfectly, and what a theatre debut that would be! His fabulous way with words would surely help him get to know his boggleboxes from his quogwinkles!
Tim Minchin was the genius behind the music for Matilda The Musical and has just been cast as Judas in the West End production of Jesus Christ Superstar. He would clearly have the imagination for a role as wacky as Willy Wonka, and could follow in the footsteps of Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp playing the iconic role.
Daniel Radcliffe Although young, we think he could turn his hand to the quirky character of Willy Wonka and really make the role his own. He’s proved he is screen and stage worthy, having finished How To Make It In Business Without Really Trying on Broadway. And he was sexy and touching in Equus.  Not sure how he is at singing though…

willy wonka, jonny depp
Jonny Depp as willy Wonka, 2005 - Image: www.bbc.co.uk

Could these be the next Dahl adaptations?

The BFG would make an amazing stage show! The set design on its own would be magical to reflect the wonderful imagination of Dahl. We can see this being a big hit with everyone, introducing little kids to Roald Dahl’s stories, and reminding the big kids of snozcumbers, the fleshlumpeater and whizzpoppers!
George’s Marvellous Medicine as a musical could be a real belly-laugh of a show! The list of ingredients for the George’s potion alone conjures up sniggers as we type; Golden Gloss hair shampoo, curry powder, anti freeze and a bottle of gin are just a few! We can really see this transforming onto the stage!
So what do you think? Who should have the golden ticket to play Scrumdiddlyumptious Willy Wonka? Or which of Roald Dahl’s stories could be the next page-to-stage adaptation?

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