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Westview wades into Willy Wonka’s wacky world of wonders

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory runs at the Maple Ridge school from Feb. 12-16

Westview Secondary is exploring the wonderful world of Willy Wonka with a golden ticket tour of a British chocolate factory.

Rehearsals began in early September for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, based on the children’s novel by English author Roald Dahl published in 1964.

The story tells the tale of a young boy named Charlie Bucket who finds a golden ticket inside the wrapper of a chocolate bar which wins him a tour of the factory. The eight-year-old is one of five children to win a ticket and they are taken on a strange tour where they meet the factory workers – Oompa-Loompas – along with the eccentric chocolate maker Willy Wonka.

Grade 10 student Hannah Ward will be taking on the role of Willy Wonka, and Ryan McClain, also in Grade 10, has been cast in the role of Charlie Bucket.

English and drama teacher, April Allan, who is also the theatre director, explained that all the proceeds from the show will be going towards the rebuilding of the theatre program at the school, future costumes, set design, and more.

This production, she said, is 100 per cent student driven from the acting, to set design, stage crew, lighting, and sound, and a total of 56 students are taking part from Grades 8-12.

“They are driven, passionate, and are super excited to put this on for the public,” said Allan, noting that while she is there to support, guide, and help put together the components of the production, the students are the entire backbone.

“We meet Monday’s after school throughout the year but leading up to the performances the students and I pull 12 hour days with rehearsals, running lines, tech timings, costuming and more,” added the teacher who has been at the school now for three years.

Allan said it was a “fluke” that they chose this production to put on just after the new movie remake called Wonka was released in December of 2023. However, the novel, she explained, was one of the highlighted books this year for Book Fest at elementary schools across the district.

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The Westview production runs from Feb. 12-16 with a total of nine performances. Elementary school classes across the district will have a choice to attend one of seven matinee performances. In addition there will be two evening performances – Thursday, Feb. 15, and Friday, Feb. 16 – with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. and a 7 p.m. start.

The performance is about two hours long with a 20 minute intermission.

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Tickets are $10 each with festival seating and a cash concession will be available.

Accessibility spaces will also be available.

Tickets can be purchased at the Westview Secondary School front office at 20905 Wicklund Ave., Maple Ridge.

For more information call 604-467-3481.

Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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