Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is perhaps Roald Dahl’s best-known story and has proved to be one of the most enduring children’s books of all time.
The story of Charlie Bucket, the five Golden Tickets, the Oompa-Loompas and the amazing Willy Wonka has become firmly embedded in our culture since it was first published in 1964.
Conservative estimates suggest the book has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide; it is now available in 60 languages.
So it is hardly surprising that a Sutherland Shire schoolboy is super excited about his upcoming appearances in the spectacular new musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney which opened on January 5.
Engadine’s Tommy Blair, 11, will be one of four boys playing the role of lead character Charlie.
He will share the role of Charlie with Oliver Alkhair (Panania), Xion Jarvis (Burwood Heights) and Ryan Yeates (Canada Bay).
Tommy, a Saint John Bosco Primary student, took time out from rehearsals for a quick Q & A with the Leader about the breakout role.
When did you audition for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and what did you have to do for your audition?
April, and we had to perform three scenes and three songs.
What can you tell us about the character ‘Charlie Buckets’?
That he’s nice and determined and that he puts others first a lot.
What is it about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that has made it such a popular story for so many years?
The imagination. The imagination that’s put into it and the characters, they’re just so well thought – and the magic.
What can audiences expect from the shows at the Capitol Theatre?
Pure magic and two hours of fun for the whole family.
What is your favourite scene in the show?
When I find the ticket, yes!
How long have you been singing and dancing and which studio or academy do you attend?
I go to singing lessons with Lizzie Moncrieff , I don’t do any dancing or acting but I’ve been doing singing for around four years.
Do you hope to make a career out of performing or is it more of a hobby/special interest?
Yes. I reckon I want to become a performer when I’m older.
For the uninitiated Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a story about a boy who lives with his mother and his four grandparents in a little wooden house and is the final child to find a Golden Ticket to meet Willy Wonka, the most amazing, fantastic, extraordinary chocolate maker the world has ever seen.
Producers John Frost and Craig Donnell are thrilled with their talented cast.
“We have found such a gloriously talented bunch of performers to create Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for Australia,” Frost said.
“The world fell in love with Roald Dahl’s bewitching tale when the book was released, then filmgoers adored the 1971 film with Gene Wilder. Now this fabulous cast will enchant audiences with the story once again on stage.”
“This is such a wonderful story for generations to share.
“Parents love sharing their favourite Willy Wonka film from their childhood with the whole family, and grandparents love taking their grandkids. We have an amazing cast to bring this story to life.”
- Bookings: ticketmaster.com.au