Theatre is magic. When we decided to spend a day in London, we thought that it would be a special treat to take the kids to their first London show. I don't know if I was more excited to see my first show in London, or to take the kids. I really hoped that they would have an unforgettable experience and that they would feel the same love that I have for theatre. Expectations were high!
There were several kid appropriate shows to choose from, which is awesome. We picked Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to tie in with our trip to the Cadbury Factory that we had already planned for the following day.
Before the show, we ate dinner at The Globe Pub and Dining Room, located around the corner from the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. The Globe was a real find. Excellent food, fun decor, and they were great with the kids. I drank the most amazing peach-apricot cider from Sweden. It was quite possibly the best alcoholic drink that I've ever tasted.
Getting excited here!!!
The Theatre Royal Drury Lane is stately and gorgeous. Here are some shots that I took of the exterior.
Posters for the show. I love the word play.
The merch booth...which didn't sell chocolate. In fact, we couldn't see chocolate for sale at concessions either. I think this was a huge missed opportunity, as we were absolutely craving chocolate. We were teased for the entire show.
Tickets were pricy, so we went with mid-range seats in a private box. The upside, is we had privacy, which was a huge factory when Felix got bored, and Dan had to take him out to the lobby. The downside, is occasionally the top of the stage was obscured, although, I was able to see it if I ducked down, and put my chin on the railing. Overall, for the price, these were good seats. Having our own box was fun for the kids.
The show... Directed by Sam Mendes, this is another modern revival of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It has some similarities to the Tim Burton film, primarily that it's modernized over Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but this new version is definitely its own thing.
Visually, it's as stunning and creative as anything that I've seen on stage. It's dazzling. This is especially true in the second act, which is set in the chocolate factory. The cast is wonderful, especially the kids, who are played by a rotating cast. I absolutely loved the scene and song showing Veruca's demise by squirrels. It's hilarious and demented. The Oompa-Loompas are done in a creative and unexpected way.
Unfortunately, the songs were lackluster. None of them were memorable, and I longed for the music from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. It was impossible to not have those memorable tunes running through my head, attempting to replace what I was hearing on stage. The only songs that I remember, are those involving Violet- The Double Bubble Duchess and Juicy! ( yes, with an exclamation point in the title). Those two songs were memorable, because they were so completely obnoxious. They are the type of songs that you really don't want to have stuck in your head.
Zoe and I, both very much enjoyed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Unfortunately, Felix did not, and Dan spent a majority of the show with him in the lobby. Admittedly, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has a slow start with most of the first act dedicated to the sorry situation of the Bucket family. However, once it gets to the chocolate factory, the show really takes flight.