What with all the Christmas shenanigans, it’s taken me a couple of weeks to get around to writing about our amazing theatre trip to see ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ just before the Christmas holidays. We booked it back in the summer as an extra special trip for the older two, their first trip time at a special theatre. We had wanted to take them to see a musical for a long time but I nearly died when I saw the cost of tickets! It’s ridiculous! How does anyone afford to take their whole family to a London show these days?! Anyway, we found cheaper tickets through my new favourite Facebook group ‘Things to do with the Kids in Kent’ and we were so chuffed with the fabulous view!! We had absolutely brilliant seats so a big thanks to them!
I told Elle and Fin in the morning, before school, that we had a surprise for them. Partly to justify why Elle couldn’t go to her street dance after school club and I also asked Fin to take it easy and not run around too much at lunchtime?! I’m sure he ignored me on this one but I was terrified that for a wee five year old, the 7.30pm start time would be too late for him and he’d fall asleep during the show!
When I arrived to pick them up from school, Elle’s teacher was waiting with her as she was just as excited as Elodie had been all day to find out what the surprise was!
After telling them the news and waiting for their excited jumping around to subside, they got changed in the car and we headed up to London by train to meet Daddy for dinner. The train trip was part of the special evening for Fin, as he loves travelling by train and we managed to squeeze in seeing the Christmas lights in Covent Garden, which were pretty special this year.
We settled on a delicious Byron Burger for dinner, Finlay had a burger that was the size of his own head!
The Theatre Royal is a stunning theatre which adds to the magic as it’s exactly how you expect an old fashioned theatre to look. Elle was particularly taken with the theatre, especially as she had spent the evening excited that The Strand and Covent Garden were places visited by Drina, the character in the ballet books she loves.
I didn’t realise that the show was directed by Sam Mendez until we arrived and but the show does have a film like quality to it. It’s completely magical from beginning to end, from the Mary Poppins- esque letter flying into the crowd to the exploding Violet Beauregard and the disappearing Wonka into a puddle of clothes- it’s just so gripping- Fin and Elle were spellbound. Fin spent days afterwards trying to workout how Willy Wonka did his magic disappearing act!
The set is really amazing, there is a giant TV where they reveal who won the golden tickets, puppet squirrels and the eerie factory bears down on the stage throughout the entire show- even the glass elevator rises from the stage and travels high into the auditorium and above the heads of the audience in the stalls. It’s such a magical moment!
I think the show is ending soon so I feel so thankful that we got to see it but if you ever get a chance to see ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ – you must go! Watching the show featured highly when our family were discussing the best moments of 2016. I felt so thankful to be able to give our little ones such an amazing treat – it was such an experience for them – seeing the grand theatre, the costume and set design as well as all the fabulous lighting and a live orchestra. We will definitely try and take them to see something else, hopefully this year. I had forgotten how special a theatre experience is.