REVIEW - BMOS' Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at Birmingham's Alexandra Theatre takes you on a 'joyous journey' - The Bromsgrove Standard

REVIEW - BMOS' Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at Birmingham's Alexandra Theatre takes you on a 'joyous journey'

Bromsgrove Editorial 13th Jun, 2024 Updated: 13th Jun, 2024   0

ONCE again BMOS are at the forefront of taking on the big shows as soon as they are released for musical theatre companies.

This time it’s the Greig and Shaiman musical version of Roald Dahl’s darkish fantasy ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’.

In a nutshell, Willie Wonka – the world’s most famous chocolatier – holds a competition where five golden tickets are hidden in his chocolate bars. The lucky winners get to spend a day with Mr Wonka in his chocolate factory and boldly go where no kid has ever been before!

The winners consist of four spoiled brats accompanied by respective oafish parents and Charlie Bucket, a young man with a thirst for knowledge and a heart as golden as his winning ticket, He’s accompanied by his poor but proud grandad, Grandpa Joe. The brats get dispatched by various unpleasant ways of imploding and exploding and Charlie’s dreams come true.

All of the principals put in strong performances with particular shout-outs for Nick Owenford (who plays Joe as everybody’s favourite wobbly drandad), Annabel Pilcher (bringing warmth and depth to Mrs Bucket, Charlie’s mum), Pat Pryce as gold chained and garish Mr Beauregard and Rachel Richards as his equally obnoxious daughter Violet, Ellen Tozer as vile-child Veruca Salt and Chris Fowler as the unlovable buffoon Augustus Gloop.

On press night, Theo Traat was warm and confident as Charlie Bucket (a role he shares with James Cowley).




Robbie Love is a veritable tour-de-force as Willy Wonka – he’s mysterious, aloof, frightening, and tender – all in various shades of majestic. For my money, Love fits confidently into the hallowed shoes of Gene Wider and Johnny Depp.

Stephen Duckham directs with a capable hand as does musical director  Callum Thompson, Aaron Gibson breathes originality into the choreography and Pete Watts has designed an imaginative lighting plot.


Act one is a tad long and a little formulated, but once inside the Mad House that is Wonka’s Chocolate Factory in act two, the show blossoms into a joyous journey with gadgets, gizmos and goofery a-plenty. The ensemble is strong and the singing throughout bang on the money.

BMOS have once again brought home the bacon (or should that be chocolate) with a joyous outing for all the family.

Fitting that this show is being staged in such a world famous chocolate city – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory runs at Birmingham’s Alexandra Theatre until Saturday. Click here for times, tickets and more information.

****

Review by Euan Rose

Euan Rose Review

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