Sam Mendes to direct stage musical of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Roald Dahl’s marvellous medicine comes to the West End stage


Charlie and the Chocolate factory, a new stage musical directed by Sam Mendes, will open at the London Palladium in June 2013.


New songs are to be written for the production by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman – responsible for the score and lyrics in hit musical Hairspray – with a book by David Greig. Mark Thompson will be in charge of set and costume design, with choreography orchestrated by Peter Darling, who has previously worked on Matilda and Billy Elliot.

Further details of cast and dates are yet to be announced, but tickets will go on sale to the public in October.

Mendes has 25 years of directing experience in film and on stage and is currently working on new James Bond film, Skyfall. His string of theatre projects includes Cabaret, Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night.

The story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory follows renowned confectionist Willy Wonka, owner of the world’s greatest chocolate factory, who launches a competition to appoint his successor. Desperately impoverished Charlie Bucket wins the chance to visit Wonka’s factory and encounters a world of everlasting gobstoppers, chocolate waterfalls and Oompa-Loompas.

Producers Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Neal Street Productions and Kevin McCormick will be hoping to ride the wave of success generated by recent production Matilda, which won a record-breaking seven Olivier awards in April this year, including best actor and best actress in a musical.


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has previously been adapted for film, famously in 1971 with Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, and more recently in a Tim Burton creation starring Johnny Depp in the leading role.