– One of this year’s most anticipated shows has opened to rave reviews from the critics. Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, directed by Sam Mendes, opened last night and impressed critics from the West End and Broadway. Sitting alongside an audience, which included Sarah Jessica Parker, Uma Thurman and Julie Walters, was Michael Billington, The Guardian Theatre Critic, who awarded the show 4 stars. Mr Billington bills the show as a “sumptuous visual feast” and praises Douglas Hodge in his role as Willy Wonka for conveying Wonka in a sinister and engaging way at the same time.
– However, not all shows in the West End are doing well. A Chorus Line, currently playing at the London Palladium, has posted early closing notices despite scheduled to finish in January next year. A reason has not been given, but many circles in theatre land are speculating that it is due to poor ticket sales. The musical, which features music from the late Marvin Hamlish, will have its last performance on the 31st August.
– A host of theatrical names have received honours from Her Majesty The Queen since my last article. The honours, which were made public on Jun 15th included CBEs for Rowan Atkinson, Julian Glover and Claire Bloom whilst an MBE was given to David Haig
– Finally, the latest rumour doing the rounds on the London Theatre District is that a musical based on the life of Dusty Springfield is set to open in the West End next year. Written by Comedienne Sandi Toksvig, the show is said to focus more on the light and dark side of Dusty’s personality, rather than just the music.