Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Wales Millennium Centre


Until May 20

I've been to a good few musical theatre productions over the years. Some stay with you and you end up singing the standout songs for days afterwards.

Some don't.

Charlie and Chocolate Factory, sadly, sits firmly in the latter camp.

But please don't let that put you off - this is a colourful romp through one of Roald Dahl's most loved books.

It is dark in places - as is the book - and follows the story of Charlie Bucket, his golden ticket, and his visit to the mysterious chocolate factory to a T.

And it is an ideal show to take the children to.

They would love seeing Violet Beauregarde's on stage transformation into a huge blueberry or Augustus Gloop's disappearance up a rather scary-looking vacuum after he fell into the chocolate river.

They would be in awe of the great glass elevator that Charlie and Willie Wonka fly off in and would absolutely love the huge squirrel checking the nuts and seeing off Veruca Salt.

They would also probably be fine with the Oompa Loompas being depicted as robots, rather than the expected orange with green haired people they are in the book.

And the use of a back screen for the trip around the factory would great for them to see. I was hoping for a bit more imagination with the stage set rather than relying on the animation we were treated to.

It's just that, for me at least, the music and songs in this musical just didn't hit the mark. Of course, we had Pure Imagination, the Oompa Loompa songs and the Candy Man - but I just can't remember any of the others.

If you're looking for a show to take your little ones along to, then pop this on the list. It's on in Cardiff until May 20.