Gareth Snook to play Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – The Musical at Leeds Playhouse and on tour

9th August 2022

Leeds Playhouse has announced that Gareth Snook will play Willy Wonka in its exciting new production of Roald Dahl’s CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY – THE MUSICAL presented in association with Neal Street Productions and Playful Productions. The show is set to premiere at Leeds Playhouse from 18 November 2022 – 28 January 2023, ahead of a major UK Tour.


Gareth has played many leading roles in hit West End musicals including Monsieur André in The Phantom of the Opera at both Her Majesty’s Theatre and in the 25th Anniversary production at the Royal Albert Hall and Les Misérables in the West End. Most recently he appeared in Wise Children and Bagdad Café.


Leeds Playhouse Artistic Director James Brining said: “It is such a pleasure to welcome Gareth to Leeds to play the role of Willy Wonka – a character known and loved by so many. Gareth is a fantastic actor, with a range of skills and accomplishments that make him the perfect choice for this role. I am really excited to be working with him, exploring how we can bring Wonka’s brilliance and playful energy to the stage.”


“We pride ourselves on producing exceptional musical theatre and have built a reputation for showcasing world-class musicals here in Leeds. CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY – THE MUSICAL follows on from the success of our previous festive offerings, The Wizard of Oz, Wendy and Peter Pan, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Strictly Ballroom the Musical, White Christmas and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, which has just opened in the West End. Festive productions are a wonderful way of bringing communities together and we’re so looking forward to creating an amazing buzz here in Leeds and throughout the UK as families celebrate together.”


Gareth Snook said:This is a completely new production and a fresh interpretation of this wonderful show. I can’t wait to get in the rehearsal room and start to create Willy Wonka. He’s such a fascinating and iconic character.”


The scrumptious tale features memorable songs from the iconic 1970s film including ‘The Candy Man’ and ‘Pure Imagination’ plus brand-new songs by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. It also features an entrancing set created by award-winning designer Simon Higlett that will transform the Quarry stage at Leeds Playhouse into the chocolate-fuelled, magical and mysterious world of Willy Wonka’s factory.


Based on the novel by Roald Dahl and the Warner Bros. film, this devilishly delicious tale of young golden ticket winner Charlie Bucket and wild confectionary wizard Willy Wonka will take audiences to a world of pure imagination.


When Charlie wins a golden ticket to the weird and wonderful Wonka Chocolate Factory, it’s a chance of a lifetime to feast on the sweets they have always dreamed of. But astonishment waits beyond the gates, where the enigmatic Willy Wonka guides the five lucky golden ticket winners through the sugary corridors to the incredible and edible delights within, where they ultimately discover not everything is as sweet as it seems.


This Leeds Playhouse production is presented in association with Neal Street Productions & Playful Productions and will be directed by Leeds Playhouse’s Artistic Director James Brining. Adapted from Dahl’s novel by David Greig, with music by Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Shaiman and Scott Wittman, this dazzling reinvention of the successful West End and Broadway musical will transport audiences in Leeds and on tour to mouth-watering new heights of enjoyment.


Families are at the heart of the theatre experience at Leeds Playhouse and the Autumn/Winter 22 Season is jam-packed with half-term treats and festive offers. As well as enjoying the theatrical delights, families can make use of the theatre’s child-friendly facilities including its free creative play area, baby change and family toilets, highchairs and special catering options.


Listings information

All dates are on sale now unless otherwise indicated.


A Leeds Playhouse production presented in association with Neal Street Productions & Playful Productions

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – The Musical

By Roald Dahl

Book by David Greig

Music by Marc Shaiman

Lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman

Directed by James Brining

18 November 2022 – 28 January 2023. Press Night Friday 25 November, 7pm

Box office 0113 213 7700. Book online