Charlie And The Chocolate Factory triumphs at Carnegie Hall premiere

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Charlie And The Chocolate Factory triumphs at Carnegie Hall Dunfermline this week for the Playhouse Theatre Company.

Full houses expected this week for the amateur Scottish premiere of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory and a huge success for the newly formed Playhouse Theatre Company.

The stage musical is of course based on the 1964 book by Roald Dahl. The stage musical directed by Sam Mendes opened at Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 2013 and ran for nearly four years. In its first year it broke records as the highest grossing week of sales with £1,080,260 taken at the box office. It also won two Olivier Awards before revamping for Broadway in 2017 ahead of a US tour. It was here they included the iconic songs of Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse from the 1971 movie with Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. Thankfully both The Candy Man and Pure Imagination form part of the production we see today.

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Playhouse Theatre Company was formed by Lucy Duffy, who moved from Fife College drama to study professional musical theatre at the prestigious Italia Conti Academy in London. During her time, she was awarded the singing award, acting award and the Top of the Year award.

Full cast on stage at Carnegie HallFull cast on stage at Carnegie Hall
Full cast on stage at Carnegie Hall

Joining her in the company was Jack Blundell with 15 years in the acting industry. He gained a BA Hons in Acting winning awards and working in various productions along the way. Together their plans are to stage three musicals, two plays and a pantomime each year opening with this spectacular production at Carnegie Hall.

A cast of 60 aged from seven to mid-50’ is a huge challenge for a young company, but this professional production is flawless with sparkling costumes, inventive casting and a lavish set from Scenic Projects. The story surrounds Charlie Bucket played enthusiastically by Alasdair Honeyford, a young lad seeking the Golden Ticket to enter the Chocolate Factory along with the disparate other winning kids from across the world. Inside we find the manufacturing machines and secret new sweets beautifully illustrated by a colourful inventive set and various characters like the Oompa Loompas all in costume and all in step as all sequences were making use of the full stage with impeccable choreography as devised by Lucy Duffy.

Daniel Paton is a loveable Willy Wonka while the athletic young 11-year-old Emma Chrystal from Kirkcaldy as Veruca Salt was truly outstanding and is a future star. Violet Beauregard (played by Effy Duncan) excels in her role even as a huge blueberry while Andrew Stenhouse as Mike Teevee gets the laughs becoming tiny much to the joy of his mum played by Katie Bryant. Charlie’s Grandpa Joe plays a huge part with Mark Bennett taking the role as a believable old codger and some great comedy throughout.

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All this though thanks to director Jack Blundell for this impressive production and a full soundtrack with Guy Bathgate as Musical Director from behind his drumkit making his five-piece band sound like a full orchestra. Credit to Playhouse Theatre Company in this first production as they will then move on to a Summer School from July 1-13 for those aged 8–18 culminating in a performance at Carnegie Hall.

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Carnegie Hall Dunfermline until May 18th. Tickets HERE

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