Charlie and the Chocolate Factory confirmed for Brisbane, 2020

Confirmed: Brisbane has a golden ticket!

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, the new musical based on Roald Dahl’s classic novel, is coming to Brisbane’s Lyric Theatre QPAC in March 2020. The show has been playing at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre since January 2019 and will enjoy a Melbourne run at Her Majesty’s Theatre from August.

Four local performers will have the chance to share the leading role of Charlie Bucket when the show hits QPAC and the search for Brisbane’s young stars will soon begin.

“The world fell in love with Roald Dahl’s bewitching tale when the book was released, then filmgoers adored the 1971 film with Gene Wilder. Now this fabulous cast is enthralling audiences with the story once again on stage. We can’t wait to search Brisbane for four amazing boys to play Charlie Bucket and join our wonderful cast”, the show’s producers said in a joint statement earlier this week.

“This is such a wonderful story for generations to share,” added producer John Frost. “Parents love sharing their favourite Willy Wonka film from their childhood with the whole family, and grandparents love taking their grandkids. We have an amazing cast to bring this story to life.”

Paul Slade Smith (Willy Wonka) and lead cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Image by Brian Geach
Paul Slade Smith (Willy Wonka) and lead cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Image by Brian Geach

Arguably one of Roald Dahl’s best-loved stories, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is one of the canon of enduring works for children. The story of Charlie Bucket, the five Golden Tickets, the Oompa-Loompas and the amazing Willy Wonka has become firmly embedded in our culture since it was first published in 1964. Conservative estimates suggest the original book has sold over 20 million copies worldwide; it is now available in 61 languages.

Roald Dahl began working on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in 1961, but its origins can be traced all the way back to Dahl’s own childhood. In his autobiography, Boy, he tells us how, while at school in England, he and his fellow Repton students were engaged as ‘taste testers’ for a chocolate company – something that seems to have started him thinking about chocolate factories and inventing rooms long before Mr Wonka was on the scene. But when he came to write Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the story went through several drafts until the story as we now know it was released in 1964.

Featuring songs from the original film including ‘Pure Imagination’, ‘The Candy Man’ and ‘I’ve Got a Golden Ticket’, alongside a toe-tapping and ear-tickling new score from the songwriters of Hairspray.

Tickets for the Brisbane season will officially go on sale in July and the waitlist is now open at

Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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