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Willy Wonka revealed


Gareth Snook and James Brining (right) at Leeds Playhouse. Pic: Ant Robling
Gareth Snook and James Brining (right) at Leeds Playhouse. Pic: Ant Robling

West End musicals star Gareth Snook will play Willy Wonka in the new Leeds Playhouse production of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – The Musical in November.

The show opens in Leeds on November 18 and runs over Christmas until January 28 before embarking on a UK tour that takes it to the Manchester Palace next July 4-30. Gareth has played major roles in hit shows including Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera, Chicago and Showboat. Playhouse artistic director James Brining said: “It is such a pleasure to welcome Gareth to play the role of Willy Wonka. Gareth is a fantastic actor, the perfect choice for this role. “We pride ourselves on producing exceptional musical theatre here in Leeds, and have built a reputation for showcasing world-class musicals. This one follows the success of our previous festive offerings, The Wizard of Oz, Wendy and Peter Pan, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Strictly Ballroom the Musical, White Christmas and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, the last of which has just opened in the West End.” Gareth said: “This is a completely new production and a fresh interpretation of this wonderful show. Willy Wonka is such a fascinating and iconic character.” The show features songs from the 1970s film, including The Candy Man and Pure Imagination, plus new songs by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. It also features a set created by award-winning designer Simon Higlett, who will transform the playhouse's main main Quarry stage into the chocolate-fuelled, mysterious world of Wonka's factory.