Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Fisher Theatre, Bungay
Roald Dahl's much-loved fable of the little boy with a pure heart, who was rewarded where the greedy, the spoilt and the indolent failed, was presented to much acclaim by an energetic theatre group of eight to 11-year-olds.
Two casts presented the show for four shows, interspersed on alternate nights with a production by the 12-16-year-old senior company of Famehouse, based on Fame Academy.
The title role in Charlie was taken by Elizabeth Stanley and Kirsty Hulse.
As director Darren France admits, the play was by no means the easiest choice for actors so young, with some long and complicated speeches.
But even the youngest cast members coped well and a particular well done to the Oompa-Lumpas (Willy Wonka's imported factory workers) for their cautionary poems in every scene.
The songs, Candyman and Pure Imagination , were done particularly well and, if occasionally the pace flagged, it was soon picked up again.
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Particular plaudits should go to Chloe France as the spoilt Veruca Salt and Ruby Reid as the put-upon mother of incorrigible gum-chewer Violet Beauregarde. Cecily Eno as Violet provided one of the highlights of the show with a well done special effect that saw her balloon in size (with the aid of a disguised inflatable lifebelt).
The company next plans to put on a Christmas pantomime called Robyn Hood and her Merry Persons.