Charlie & The Chocolate Factory Review – Empire Theatre, Liverpool

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory 2023
Image Source: What's On Stage

This is our review of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory at Liverpool’s Empire Theatre!

Synopsis Of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory

Charlie comes from a poor family, who barely have the pennies to get throughout the day. Yet they do have a positive outlook on life, with Charlie in particular demonstrating an optimistic outlook. This is especially true when it concerns her love of Wonka chocolate bars. Now, the Wonka factory has reopened, but nobody other than Willy Wonka himself knows what happens at the factory.

That is, until Wonka announces a competition for five lucky children to visit the factory, should they find a golden ticket. Charlie and her family are very excited, but their enthusiasm slowly dwindles as other, less wholesome children claim each voucher. All of which nicely sets up the feel-good moment when Charlie happens to find the final golden ticket. However, once she and the other children meet Willy Wonka himself, we realise the fun is only just beginning.

Analysis Of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory

This is very much a show of two halves. In the first half, the story is slower-paced, more wholesome, and also more relatable. This is especially true during a moment in time when so many people are struggling to make ends meet. But then we have the second half, which will wow the children and amuse the adults. I won’t provide spoilers, but there are so many superb props, costumes, and screen effects to behold. It’s sensational to witness, and one of the more memorable theatre experiences that I’ve enjoyed.

Elsewhere, look out for various subtle 1980s pop culture references, along with some outlandish costumes. I also appreciated the use of sign language during the first half, which is something for other shows to consider implementing. Then, there are the catchy songs, more specifically Pure Imagination. And there are superb performances from Harmony Raine Riley as Charlie, and Gareth Snook, who totally nails his role as Willy Wonka.

Summary Of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory

There was tremendous hype for this show, and the production matched and at times surpassed my expectations. (I should note that the press night experience was very enjoyable, the goodies were much appreciated!). The show is a must-see for children, and adults will love reliving their own childhood by watching this production. Just try not to eat too much chocolate once you leave the Empire Theatre!

Overall Rating: 9/10 – Outstanding