Grand Theatre Invites Audiences into a World of Pure Imagination at Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Book by David Greig
Music by Marc Shaiman
Lyrics by Scott Wittman | Marc Shaiman
Based on the novel by Roald Dahl
Songs from the Motion Picture by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley
Directed by Jan Alexandra Smith
On the Spriet Stage
November 21 – December 24, 2023
Opening November 24
Season Sponsor: BMO
Title Sponsor: McCormick Canada
November 14, 2023 – London ON – Visions of sugarplums and giant squirrels come to life this holiday season, as the Grand Theatre proudly presents Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The 2-hour-and-30-minute musical, directed by Jan Alexandra Smith and featuring Mark Uhre as Willy Wonka, will play on the Spriet Stage from November 21st to December 24th. The production promises a fresh musical twist on Dahl's beloved novel, while offering an unforgettable holiday experience for audiences of all ages.
“Theatre is a place for magic,” exclaims Grand Theatre Artistic Director, Rachel Peake. “This holiday season I can't imagine a more enchanting production than Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. With a timeless story, sumptuous scenic design, and melodies that will lift your spirits, audiences are in for a truly delightful treat, much like Wonka’s Everlasting Gobstopper—leaving you satisfied for weeks.”
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory follows the story of Willy Wonka, the world-famous candy maker, who, after years of silence and secrecy is opening the gates to his mysterious chocolate factory – but only to a lucky few. Among them is the young Charlie Bucket, who joins four other Golden Ticket winners to embark upon a brain boggling, mind mangling, schnozztastic adventure through Wonka’s wild and wonderous world. Chocolate waterfalls, nutty squirrels, incredible inventions, Oompa-Loompas, and the prize of a lifetime await.
After capturing the hearts of Grand audiences, in such roles as Bert (Mary Poppins, 2019) and Jamie Wellerstein (The Last Five Years, 2010), the multi-talented Mark Uhre returns to the Grand Theatre to play the iconic role of Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Joining him are a cast of 21 local and Canadian talent – including two young, London actors taking on the shared role of Charlie Bucket: Greyson Reign Armer (Age 8) and Neela Noble (Age 15).
Taking the helm as director of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is Grand Theatre perennial favourite, Jan Alexandra Smith. Joining her on the Artistic team are: Alexandra Kane (Musical Director), Robin Calvert (Choreographer), Joseph Abetria (Costume Designer), Siobhán Sleath (Lighting Designer), Brian Kenny (Sound Designer), Cameron Fraser (Projection Designer), and Scott Penner (Set Designer) – who designed the opulent set for the Grand’s box office-breaking production of Elf – The Musical in 2022. Skylar Fox, known for his astonishing illusion work on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, also brings his mystifying touch to the production as Magic and Illusions Designer.
Directed by Sam Mendes, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory premiered at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane (West End London, England) in June 2013 and ran until January 2017. In 2013, the production broke the record for weekly ticket sales in London. Further, it won two Laurence Olivier Awards in 2014 for Best Costume Design and Best Lighting Design. Since then, the production has been produced internationally, including a Broadway run at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in 2017.
Hoping to add to the cumulative total that has surpassed $400,000, the Grand Theatre is delighted to once again be partnering with the London Food Bank for a seventh consecutive year through its Business Cares program. During the run of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, audience members will hear more about the London Food Bank and its impact within the city of London. Following each performance, there will be a call for monetary donations, with 100% of all proceeds directed to the Food Bank and the homes of those in need.
“Food insecurity is one of the most pressing issues currently facing our city,” remarks Grand Executive Director, Evan Klassen. "With so many struggling with the rising cost of food, the Grand is pleased to extend our partnership with the London Food Bank this year to help tackle food insecurity and to give back to the community that we are proud to call home.”
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory plays on the Spriet Stage from November 21st – December 24th, 2023. Single tickets range from $23 - $98 (subject to availability) and are available at www.grandtheatre.com, by phone at 519-672-8800, or at the Box Office, 471 Richmond Street. The Grand Theatre’s inaugural Relaxed Performance will occur at the Sunday, December 10thperformance of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. An Open Captioned performance will also be presented on Saturday, December 2nd at 1:00 p.m. Finally, up to 150 patrons can enjoy their golden tickets – at whatever price they are comfortable paying – at the Canada Life Pay-What-You-Can performance on Sunday, November 26that 1 p.m.
The Grand Theatre gratefully and joyfully acknowledges Season Sponsor BMO and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Title Sponsor McCormick Canada.
To learn more about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, please visit: https://www.grandtheatre.com/event/charlie-and-the-chocolate-factory. Additional facts, photos, and updates can also be found by following @thegrandlondon and #GrandCharlie on Facebook, X, Instagram, and TikTok.
The Grand Theatre wishes to acknowledge and honour the original stewards of the land on which our Theatre stands. Gratitude and recognition are extended to the Attawandaron (also known as Neutral), Anishinaabeg, Haudenosaunee, and Lunaapewak peoples for preserving this land where we gather and create art.
About the Grand Theatre – World Curious. London Proud.
In the heart of downtown London, Ontario lies one of Canada’s oldest regional theatres and a leading cultural hub of today: the Grand Theatre. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Rachel Peake, and Executive Director Evan Klassen, the Grand proudly presents diverse, relevant, and original stories from around the globe – and around the corner – on its two stages. The not-for-profit theatre is committed to developing, producing, and premiering original stories through its COMPASS New Play Development program. Further, the Grand Theatre is an ardent supporter of educational programming, as demonstrated through initiatives like the High School Project and Subsidized Student Matinees. For more information, visit: grandtheatre.com.
For more information please contact:
Caitlin Core, Communications Manager
ccore [at] grandtheatre.com (ccore[at]grandtheatre[dot]com)
519-672-9030 ext. 266
When: Tuesday, November 21 at 1:00 p.m. (Cameras, please arrive at 12:30 p.m. to set up)
Where: Spriet Stage, Grand Theatre, 471 Richmond Street, London, Ontario
What: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory photo, video, and interview opportunities for media
CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
Charlie Bucket - Greyson Reign Armer
Ensemble - Matthew Armet
Ensemble - Kih Becke
Mrs. Green/ Mrs. Teavee - Meg Buchanan-Lunn
Grandma Georgina/Mrs. Gloop - Krystle Chance
Mr. Beauregarde - Aadin Church
Grandma Josephine - Barbara Fulton
Augustus Gloop - Nathanael Judah
Jerry Jubilee - Christopher Lucas
Cherry Sunday - Amanda Lundgren
Violet Beauregarde - Mikela Marcellin
Ensemble/Associate Choreographer - Jamie Murray*
Charlie Bucket - Neela Noble
Veruca Salt - Nicole Norsworthy
Mrs. Bucket - Melissa Mackenzie
Mike Teavee - Elena "Elm" Reyes
Grandpa George/Mr. Salt - Salvatore Scozzari
Ensemble - Julius Sermonia
Ensemble - Michele Shuster
Grandpa Joe - David Talbot
Willy Wonka - Mark Uhre
Willy Wonka - Matthew Armet
Grandma Josephine/Cherry/Violet - Kih Becke
Standby (Grandpa Joe, George, Mr. Salt) - Jeff Culbert
Mrs. Green/Mrs. Teavee - Barbara Fulton
Mr. Beauregarde - Christopher Lucas
Mrs. Bucket - Amanda Lundgren
Veruca Salt - Jamie Murray
Mike Teavee/Augustus Gloop/Jerry - Julius Sermonia
Grandma Georgina/Mrs. Gloop - Michele Shuster
Director - Jan Alexandra Smith
Music Director - Alexandra Kane
Choreographer - Robin Calvert
Set Designer - Scott Penner*
Costume Designer - Joseph Abetria
Lighting Designer - Siobhán Sleath*
Sound Designer - Brian Kenny*
Projection Designer - Cameron Fraser*
Magic & Illusions Designer - Skylar Fox
Creative Consultant - Megan Watson
Puppeteering Consultant - Adam Francis Proulx
Stage Manager - Kelly Luft
Assistant Stage Manager - Jordan Guetter
Assistant Stage Manager - Melissa Cameron
Apprentice Stage Manager - Jess Gordon
Child Supervisor - Cindi Armer-Almeida
Child Supervisor - Chrystine Robinson
Conductor - Alexandra Kane
Trumpet - Alexa Brown
Reeds - Jennifer Cahill-Bedard
Keyboard II - Jayne Hysen
Percussion - Jasmine Jones-Ball
Trombone - Sidnee Mcleod
Keyboard I - Andrew Petrasiunas
Bass - Kayla Purvess
*Represented by Associated Designers of Canada, IATSE Local ADC659