Willy Wonka takes to the stage


Charlie Bucket, Willy Wonka, Grandpa Joe and, of course, the Oompa-Loompas will light up the stage in the Taieri Dramatic Society’s production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which starts next week. The play, adapted by Richard R. George from the book by Roald Dahl, is set in modern times but follows the same storyline as the book. The society will put its newly renovated theatre to good use in its upcoming performances, which will see characters take to the stage in bright, up-to-date costumes. ‘‘The show will be full of colour with the costumes and set designed by Brian McCormack bright and breezy,’’ director David Thomson said. The society’s recently renovated theatre will be on show for the first time, the previous show having been performed at Coronation Hall, and the society feels it is important the theatre be used as much as possible. The performances of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are being dedicated to the memory of the late Gene Wilder, who was the main inspiration behind choosing to perform the classic story. Mr Thomson said ‘‘Wilder was the Willy Wonka and I think it is appropriate that we dedicate the show to him.’’ The talented and experienced cast of adults and children will be the first in greater Dunedin to perform Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and has been hard at work preparing for opening night. ‘‘The cast are absolutely fantastic, and we could not have wished for a better cast.’’ The decision to go ahead with another show came after a very successful run of performances of The Vicar of Dibley earlier in the year and the need to continue producing great performances. ‘‘We need to bask in our success and keep going while we have people aware we can stage good productions.’’ This production would not be possible without the support of sponsors the Bendigo Valley Sports and Charity Foundation and Air Rescue Services Trust, plus all the time and services given by businesses and individuals. The theatre experience will start right at the door, patrons being greeted by an Oompa-Loompa selling programmes. Tickets are $12 per person — make sure you book online to secure yours. They can be picked up and paid for in cash (no eftpos available) on the night.