Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tour at the New Wimbledon Theatre: A Mixed Bag

Friday 23 June 2023

often manages to capture the essence of Roald Dahl's beloved tale"

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Tour)
New Wimbledon Theatre 

Stepping into the captivating world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the Musical is a mixed bag of sweet and sour. It's a journey that tugs at your heartstrings while also leaving you with a hint of disappointment. The main strength lies in the cast, who work with what they've got and bring the cherished characters to life in fun and engaging ways; pouring their hearts into their roles, infecting the audience with their contagious energy. The talented Amelia Minto perfectly captures the innocence and warmth of Charlie, while Gareth Snook puts a somewhat sinister twist on the iconic. Kazmin Borrer is a real stand out as the spoilt Veruca Salt and Lucy Hutchison is a delight and the chocolate reporter, Cherry. Each member of the ensemble adds their own unique touch, ensuring an engaging and lively performance.

On the flip side, the set design and overall aesthetic of the musical fail to evoke the whimsical enchantment one would expect from a journey through a fantastical chocolate factory. The visuals lack the intricate detail and grandeur that should transport the audience into a world of awe and discovery. This absence becomes painfully evident during crucial moments where the magic should be tangible but falls disappointingly flat.

The music, too, lacks a lasting impact. Instead of weaving a captivating narrative or stirring deep emotions, the songs feel predictable and straightforward, almost like a literal translation of the story. While they serve their purpose in advancing the plot, they lack the memorable melodies and poetic finesse that would elevate the musical into an unforgettable experience. It's a missed opportunity to heighten the emotional connection between the audience and the characters on stage.

Despite these shortcomings, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory often manages to capture the essence of Roald Dahl's beloved tale. The unwavering commitment and strong performances of the cast keep the audience engaged, and the heartwarming story of young Charlie Bucket, guarantees an enjoyable evening for fans of the original story.

For those who hold the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory dear and eagerly anticipate seeing talented actors bring the beloved characters to life, this musical on tour will provide a delightful night out. Just be prepared for a slightly diminished sense of magic and musical moments that, while adequate, may not linger in your memory long after the final curtain call.

Reviewed on Thursday 22nd June 2023
photo credit: Johan Persson

{AD PR Invite- tickets gifted in exchange for honest review}