Charlie and The Chocolate Factory the Musical: Review (OMG style)

We knew the opening night of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the musical was set to be a pretty special evening when Glee's Matthew Morrison gave us his last chocolate éclair for the interval.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has hit the West End.

And the latest version of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s story – a stage musical following two film adaptations - did not disappoint.

In case you spent your childhood climbing trees or playing Etch A Sketch, Roald Dahl’s delightful book tells the story of how the fortunes of Charlie Bucket take a dramatic turn once he finds a golden ticket in a bar of chocolate and discovers Willy Wonka and his Chocolate Factory.

After two big screen versions – the first in 1971 with Gene Wilder playing Wonka – and then later in 2005 with Johnny Depp – this is the first time the story has been interpreted in musical form. With award-winning director Sam Mendes at the helm it was always going to make a stir.

Here’s our verdict on how the charming kid’s tale was translated onto the West End stage, omg! style.

The moment that made us laugh
Led by Charlie's grandparents who ironically sing 'Hope we don't die in our sleep' there are LOADS of real laugh out loud moments in the musical adaptation. Much of the humour is clearly intended for the adults in the audience, with lines from Willy Wonka like "no-one ever goes back to normal after they've been on television" clearly designed to be a wry take on today's society.

The moment that made us gasp
The interpretation of the Oompa Loompas was a closely-guarded secret in the run-up to opening night and you can see why as they take on a very different form to the big screen versions. Cleverly handled puppets, they represent the campest part of the production, leading the big numbers in a bizarre array of costumes. You have to see them to believe them. They also provided a lot of laughs.

The Umpa Loompas were a closely-guarded secret going into the opening night.

The moment that made us clap
Perhaps the biggest cheer of the night came from the introduction of the four kids (Augustus Gloop, Veruca Salt, Mike Teavee and Violet Beauregarde). Cleverly positioned inside a huge box - made to look like a TV screen - the foursome received raucous applause for their opening numbers alongside their ghastly parents.

Augustus Gloop's introduction got one of the biggest cheers of the night.

The moment that made us bop
Violet gets the most drastic makeover of all the children - brought to life as a rapping gum chewer in a velour purple tracksuit, complete with entourage. Her self-destruction via a piece of Willy Wonka's gum leads to one of the biggest numbers of the show - a camp 70s-style disco dance involving the whole cast - with her final farewell seeing her transformed into a glittering silver disco ball.

Violet gets the most drastic makeover - and got us bopping in our seats.

The moment that made us hungry
With a multimillion pound budget, we knew we were set for a treat (literally) with the set. And Willy Wonka's sugar-covered factory doesn't disappoint. Despite having a chocolate eclair to nibble on, our stomachs rumbled throughout at the lifelike chocolate lake (where Augustus meets his fate) and edible flowers. MMM.

The moment that made us scared
Ok so we weren't actually scared but we do have to give a special mention to Douglas Hodge for his interpretation of Willy Wonka which is mesmerising and unsettling - just as we reckon the author meant him to be. Sam Mendes makes full use of the theatre - with the protagonist popping up in the orchestra pit and the Royal box too.

The moment that made us emosh
The final scene tugs at the heart strings with a flying glass elevator (a reason alone to go and watch the musical) and the only song from the original films - 'Pure Imagination'. The tender moment between Charlie and Wonka is perfectly executed (thankfully no issues with getting it off the ground unlike other nights) and was definitely our favourite scene.

[SJP comes dressed as a golden ticket to the premiere]

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