(Im)pure Imagination

Welcome to a world we thought we knew. A world where ‘pure imagination’ makes children feel like anything is possible. These dreams will be stomped on as you visit the factory of Willy Wanka: a complete disaster and downright wanka. Willy Wanka follows the original plot of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but with the added threat of bankruptcy. You’ll need to go and see the show to figure out Wanka’s exceptionally clever money savers and makers… although I’m not quite sure Wonka Tupperware will really ever take off…

In all honesty, I thought the script and the actors were tremendously good. Each played their part to a tee! Sam Garlepp’s over the top acting for Charlie saw great use of caricature and eliminated our overall empathy with the character that would eventually win the factory (or so we think). Will Reinehr’s take on Willy Wanka generated plenty of laughs. His smart wit and perfect comic timing made his character loveable even though he was a complete smart ass! He’s definitely not afraid to call it how he sees it, no matter how offensive or vilified he is. Overall, you just hate to love him.

The females of the production all held their own vocally. Veruca Salt played by Melissa Tracina gave the role great confidence and sex appeal. Claire Rankine’s portrayal of Charlie’s mother was spot-on and demonstrated exactly what everybody thought of the song ‘Cheer Up Charlie’. Alice Tovey’s accent when playing Augustus was absolutely spot-on and she brought comedy to her role of the intern by playing with dumb stereotypes. Special mention must go to Lachie McKenzie who wowed everyone with his ability to change characters with ease. His use of voice and accent in differentiating characters was outstanding!

Small changes to characters provide non-stop laughter as Wonka’s factory comes into 2016. Veruca Salt and her ‘father’ engage in a sexual relationship making him her ‘sugar daddy.’Mike TV is killed within the first ten seconds of being introduced because that character is simply a bore. Our Slimy Slugsworth disguises himself as irrelevant objects, which appear out of nowhere.  Grandpa Joe becomes an unsuspected murder. And my personal favourite is a special appearance by Donald Trump as Violet’s Dad. Laughs are a definite, with irrelevant appearances from characters like Andy Murray. It will keep you guessing, but not for the reasons that you think!

Mikaela Farrugia

Seemingly Evil’s show Willy Wanka ran from Tuesday 24th of March to Sunday 3rd of April in Trades Hall, Lygon st, as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2016.

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