Review: Charlie and The Chocolate Factory at Milton Keynes Theatre is the golden ticket for all the family

A feast of theatre awaits you in Milton Keynes for the next few weeks with the arrival of a Roald Dahl classic story – and you’d be a right Charlie to miss it!
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Charlie and The Chocolate Factory – The Musical tells the familiar story of young Golden Ticket winner Charlie Bucket and the mysterious confectionary king Willy Wonka – and you're going to get such a sugar rush from this sensational production at Milton Keynes Theatre which runs until March 5.

The show starts with Charlie, played on Friday’s press night by Noah Walton, at the rubbish dump where he picks up some junk and takes it home as gifts for his grateful grandparents.

Noah’s Your Trash is my Treasure opening number got proceedings off to a fantastic start and the singing standards didn’t drop all night.

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. Credit: Johan PerssonCHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. Credit: Johan Persson
CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. Credit: Johan Persson

Living in poverty with a diet of cabbage soup, Charlie is desperate to find one of five Golden Tickets, with entry to Wonka’s factory, and a lifetime supply of sweets, the potential prize.

As you see the first four tickets go to spoilt brats and Charlie’s attempts to win appearing to be in vain, you really are emotionally drawn into the family’s plight. Grandpa Joe even forgoes 53.5p savings he’d been putting aside for his funeral to give his grandson another shot at success.

Eventually Charlie does strike lucky and as Act 1 draws near its conclusion it’s time to meet the weird and wonderful Mr Wonka, with Gareth Snook’s performance simply mouth-watering as the eccentric inventor.

The staging for this production is simply superb. The sets prior to the cast entering the factory are brilliant– the rubbish dump, the sweet shop and Charlie’s house with the grandparents crammed in one bed are really impressive.

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY . Credit: Johan PerssonCHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY . Credit: Johan Persson
CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY . Credit: Johan Persson

As you reach the interval and part two looms large, you’ll be wondering how they’ll pull off certain well-known scenes, such as the grand tour around all the different factory rooms, Augustus falling into the Chocolate River and being sucked up a pipe, Violet turning into a giant blueberry, Veruca falling down a rubbish chute and Mike getting shrunk down to the size of a chocolate bar.

This is where the show excels as it really does take the audience to a world of imagination – but I won’t spoil it by giving any further details.

Book your tickets at ATGTICKETS.COM/MiltonKeynes for this really tasty family treat.