Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – LAMPS – Liphook Millennium Hall – Review

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As you’ll see from my blog, I have a varied and eclectic theatrical taste, the last week alone has seen me see a new play at The Royal Court, a Forum Theatre Piece by an ex-homeless cast in East London, La Traviata at the Royal Opera House and to top it off, I saw an amateur production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Liphook Amateur Productions (LAMPS).

I’ll make it clear now, the reason I went is because I know the writer and director Stephen Baker. He’s due to marry into the family next year and so I thought it best to check out his theatrical credentials in case I need to yell out “YES! His theatre group is pants!” at the line in the wedding ceremony where they ask, “if anyone here present knows of any lawful impediment why these two should not be joined together in matrimony?”. It’s ok Steve, after last night I shall keep quiet.

It was a great fun evening, with the cast of mainly young people giving their all as they acted and sang their hearts out. It was good to see them so supported by the large audience that attended, and it was good to see the youngsters in the audience getting into the spirit of things. Rob Miller relished in his role as Willy Wonka and Amy Bleakley as Charlie (see what Steve did their – Charlotte/Charlie – clever old bean!) was fantastic.

Amateur theatre is a different beast to professional, but no less important in my eyes. LAMPS is giving young people the chance to try out what it’s like on stage, develop their talents and I’m sure have a great laugh at the same time.  Congratulations to all involved. I look forward to seeing their spring production of “Grease, the early years” in 2012.

I hope you keep the Oompalumpa costume Steve as I may wear it to the wedding 🙂


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