Charlie and The Chocolate Factory at Groundlings Theatre, Portsea

Poet and author Benjamin Zephaniah

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If you don’t have quite enough chocolate this Easter, the Groundlings Theatre production of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ should fill the gap nicely.

This theatrical adaptation retells the much-loved Roald Dahl story, in which Charlie joins four other lucky children who win a guided tour of Willy Wonka’s fabulous chocolate factory.

The set is vibrant and inventive, whilst the audience are invited to sit around individual tables to eat High Tea during the performance, creating a relaxed atmosphere.

The very young cast members show excellent enthusiasm and are particularly good at working together as an ensemble. Notably popular with the audience are the ‘Oompa Loompas’ who are wonderfully costumed in orange suits with green wigs, and who perform individual routines throughout the show.

Special congratulations must go to Tom Cawte, whose performance as Willy Wonka is extremely expressive and watchable. His wry and cheeky sarcasm as the eccentric chocolatier is delightful. Jess Ridge’s performance as Veruca Salt is also strong, portraying the spoilt sultry character with conviction.

Families with young children and fans of the book should not miss out on this opportunity to support a local group of young actors.