Feb. 27, 2015: Latest London Theatre Notes, Orts, and Doings

Oppenheimer with John Heffernan.

Oppenheimer with John Heffernan.

There’s theatre news from London regarding Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Oppenheimer, and Golem. Here’s what’s happening in London this week.

New Willy Wonka Announced

News is that Jonathan Slinger will play Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on London’s West End. Slinger has a wide range of stage credits that include a wealth of Shakespearean roles. He has performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company, including appearing in the Complete Works and This England: The Histories cycles. He’s played Richard II, Fluellen, Richard Duke of York, and Richard III, as well as Macbeth. He’s also appeared in various other plays and musicals including The Duchess of Malfi, The Coast of Utopia, Yes, Prime Minister, Uncle Vanya, and Urinetown.

The musical, which is based on the 1964 children’s book by Roald Dahl, presently stars Alex Jennings. Slinger will take over the role at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane staring May 4.


The play Oppenheimer by Tom Morton-Smith, which offers insights into the man who’s considered to be the father of the atomic bomb, J. Robert Oppenheimer, will transfer from the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Swan Theatre to the Vaudeville Theatre on the West End. Previews will begin on March 27 and the show will open on March 31. John Heffernan stars in the show. The play, which was commissioned by the RSC, reveals the personal cost one pays for creating history.

Golem Transfer

Golem, which enjoyed a strong run at the Young Vic, and which is directed by Suzanne Andrade, is scheduled to play a limited run at the Trafalgar Studios starting April 14 and closing May 22. Opening night is scheduled for April 22.

Golem offers a satirical slant on how society misuses and abuses technology. The show includes live performance and music, as well as film and animation. The focus of the story is on the character Robert Robertson, who is considered to be “extraordinarily ordinary.” His life changes when he buys a Golem, which is designed to make his life more efficient. It does just that and that inspires Robert to upgrade to a Golem 2, which takes away all control of his life. What happens when machines run man? That’s the ultimate question of Golem.

There will be more next Friday from Theatre IQ on London theatre notes, orts, and doings.

  • Author Spotlight

    Paul Mroczka

    Paul Mroczka has served Theatre By the Sea as associate director and playwright-in-residence. He has directed for companies including North Country Center for the Arts, Pontine Movement Theatre, The Theatre of Newburyport and the Palace Theatre. A former National Endowment for the Arts fellow in playwriting, he has also garnered a Shubert Fellowship, the Jason Miller Award and has received grants from the New Hampshire Council for the Humanities. His plays have been performed at New York’s La MaMa La Galleria, Nat Horne Theatre, and Manhattan Punchline Theatre, among others. His interactive planetarium show, Pathfinders, is running at the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium in Concord, NH. Recent directorial assignments include Good People, Steel Magnolias, and The Complete World of Sports (Abridged) at The Barnstormers Playhouse in New Hampshire, and Rumors, Orpheus in the Underworld, and The Glass Menagerie at PSU. This summer Paul finished an initial draft of his new play, Smart Money ... Read Full