The West End reshuffles some more


Fresh announcements have been made for more changes to the big name shows in London, including Shrek the Musical and the new show coming into London – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Following our report on Loserville making its way to London’s Theatreland and a transfer for Spamalot, there’s now been further reshuffling news amongst the West End’s great theatres and playhouses.

Shrek has posted closing notices, with its final performances due to be made at the end of February 2013. The DreamWorks production, based on the hit movie of the same name from 2001, previewed in the US in Seattle and with an official debut on Broadway in 2008. From 2010, several international productions began to be staged around the world, with the hop across ‘the pond’ to open in London last year. The show has had a glittering cast of celebrity stars and veterans of the West End stage, including Amanda Holden and Girls Aloud bandmember Kimberley Walsh as Princess Fiona, along with Richard Blackwood, Nigel Lindsay and Nigel Harman as the well-meaning but somewhat ham-fisted Donkey, the beloved ogre and title character and of course, the vertically-challenged but egoistic Lord Farquaad.

With Shrek the musical’s exit from the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, there’s been an unexpected twist in the storyline for the new production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – with another big-name film house driving the show: Warner Bros. Originally announced to be going into the London Palladium, it will now preview at the Theatre Royal from May 2013 and will open in June 2013.

The Roald Dahl classic has been featured heavily in popular culture, with the well-loved movie named Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory starring Gene Wilder released in 1971, before another film adaption produced in 2005 which held the same name as the book and starred the eccentric Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka in yet another collaboration with Tim Burton directing.

More recently, one of the tracks from the 1971 film ‘Pure Imagination’ was featured in the London 2012 closing ceremony, performed by the comedian Russell Brand atop a 70s–style vibrantly patterned bus, in nod to the psychedelic decade.

With so many shows closing and new shows coming in to the West End, sign up to the Shows in London newsletter for all the latest information and announcements on all the shows on in London.