Entertainment & Arts

Shrek musical makes way for Charlie show

Dean Chisnall in Shrek the Musical. Photo by Tristram Kenton
Image caption Dean Chisnall currently plays the title role in Shrek the Musical

West End musical Shrek is to leave the Theatre Royal Drury Lane next year, making way for a new adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Sam Mendes' new musical had been due to open at the London Palladium but will now launch at the Theatre Royal in May.

Shrek, which opened in June 2011, will close on 24 February. There are now plans for it to tour the UK in 2014.

"It is not without sadness that we have decided to leave next year," producer Bill Damaschke said in a statement.

Based on the 2001 Dreamworks animated film, Shrek opened on Broadway in December 2008 and closed around a year later.

The show has fared better in the West End and saw cast member Nigel Harman receive an Olivier Award earlier this year for best supporting performance in a musical.

Amanda Holden and Girls Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh are among others to have roles in the fairy-tale fantasy about a grumpy green ogre.

Image caption Nigel Harman won an Olivier Award in April for his supporting role in Shrek

Warner Bros are behind the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory musical, along with producer Kevin McCormick and Mendes' Neal Street Productions.

Songs for the show will be written by Mark Shaiman and Scott Wittman, the Tony Award-winning team who made the musical Hairspray and US TV series Smash.

Based on the 1964 book by Roald Dahl, the musical will tell of a poor young boy who wins the chance to explore a magical sweet factory.

It is not yet known who will play the factory's owner Willy Wonka, portrayed on film by Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp.

It is also unclear whether its score will include The Candy Man or Pure Imagination, both of which featured in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

At the Olympic Games closing ceremony on 12 August, Pure Imagination was performed by Russell Brand from the top of a psychedelic bus.

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