Year 6 thespians leapt right into the heart of Roald Dahl's flamboyant imagination with their spectacular production of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’.
Directed and choreographed by Soulla Costanda, with music arranged and directed by Paul Vowles, the mammoth production was a riot of colour, comedy and charisma.
It borrowed from both the 1971 Gene Wilder film and the 2005 Johnny Depp remake with, just for good measure, some original scenes to incorporate all 39 pupils with a speaking role and every one of the 70 Year 6 pupils at King's. All were involved on stage as they performed at a slick pace and with consummate professionalism to packed audiences over the two-night extravaganza in the Jackson Hall.
The superb Anisha Kumar, as Willy Wonka, held the night together with an enigmatic performance exuding both whimsy and menace. This girl has presence. Elijah Gaddum as Charlie Bucket, the holder of the fifth and final ticket, and the only decent soul among the entourage of the spoiled and spineless, played the genuinely kind and caring Charlie, with natural flare and enthusiasm.
James Cresswell, as Grandpa Joe, brought distinction to a man aged 96-and-a-half, 'as old as any man can be' with a performance of which his own grandparents would have been proud. The same was true of Jessica Thomas as Grandma Georgina, who, though bedridden, watches on with her innocent humour and hilarious observations.
For comedy, Saskia Patton demonstrated the sheer exuberance of getting to grips with the supposedly goody two shoes turned ghastly girl Veruca Salt, the over-indulged and manipulative young girl, who wraps her father around her little finger.
Soulla said: "All of the cast have been on a fantastic learning curve discovering the art of drama and performance. It was wonderful to see an audience laughing at the jokes and singing along to the classic tunes such as Candy Man, I Got a Golden ticket and Pure Imagination."
Pictured are Elijah Gaddum as Charlie Bucket, Anisha Kumar as Willy Wonka, James Cresswell as Grandpa Joe, Jessica Thomas as Grandma Georgina, Saskia Patton as Veruca Salt and Narator Lacey Quinn.