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Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

The stage is set, the golden tickets are ready, and the magic of Willy Wonka’s world will bring the historic Armidale Town Hall alive next week when more than 100 students from PLC Armidale will perform six shows of the College’s production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 

Mrs Jo Wysel is the director of the show and the Head of Creative and Performing Arts at PLC Armidale. She said the heritage-listed building is the perfect setting for the event.

“It is fabulous to be able to use this building and bring it to life with live theatre again,” Mrs Wysel said. 

“The location is so convenient, and we have been amazed at the interest shown by passers-by this week while we have been setting up. We can’t wait to share the magic with our audience.”

The production has been a labour of love for much of the school’s community, who have spent thousands of hours producing props, costumes, and choreography to transport the audience into the world of Willy Wonka.  And in this all-girls production, Charlie is a heroine whose kindness and humility win in the end.

“Charlie is a great show to do because it’s magical, and it just brings in everyone’s imagination,’ Mrs Wysel said.

“I love that it is not the addiction, greed, or lust for fame that succeed – those things are the other competitors’ downfall. The moral woven throughout the show is that a strong character wins in the end.”

Performed in two acts, Mrs Wysel said the production will transport the audience around the world to meet Charlie, Augustus Gloop, Mike Teavee, Veruka Salt and Violet Beauregarde in Act 1 before arriving in the fantastical world of Willy Wonka in Act 2.

“Everything changes between acts,” Mrs Wysel said.

“From reality in the first act, then fabulously fantastical in the second when we go into Wonka’s world, with sets, colours and lighting that are entirely different.”

There is a full dress rehearsal preview show on Tuesday, October 24, a concession matinee on Wednesday, and then the show opens on Thursday night. Both Saturday shows are sold out, but some seats remain for Thursday and Friday night’s performances. Tickets are available through Humanitix.

Photo: PLC Armidale’s Kate Clynch (producer) and Jo Wysel (director) on stage in the Armidale Town Hall to set up for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on Thursday.

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