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Sam Mendes: life is sweet

19 April 2013 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Sam Mendes on making Bond, coming home and turning Charlie And The Chocolate Factory into a musical

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has taken five years to become a stage musical, for reasons logistical – Sam Mendes, the director, was out for three of them doing Skyfall – and practical: the book is a tricky one to adapt. There are the kids; the old folks in bed; the pyrotechnics of the chocolate factory. There is the ambiguous character of Willy Wonka himself. And there is the question that hangs over the entire production: what on earth to do about the Oompa-Loompas. "It's big," Mendes says of the task before him. "Christ, it's so big."

We are in a rehearsal space in south London, where the company is going through its paces before moving to Drury Lane. Anticipation for the show is feverish, thanks to the success of Matilda, another Dahl adaptation, and Mendes's post-Bond nuclear glow. »

- Emma Brockes

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