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Alex Jennings to play Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory from May

The actor will take over from fellow WhatsOnStage Awards nominee Douglas Hodge

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Alex Jennings
© Dan Wooller

Alex Jennings is set to enter a world of pure imagination when he takes over from Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

The WhatsOnStage Award nominee will join Sam Mendes' record-breaking production on 19 May 2014.

David Greig's adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic children's story features the film's best known song "Pure Imagination", plus a host of new music by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

Alex Jennings is the only performer to have won an Olivier Award in the drama, musical and comedy categories, winning Best Actor for Peer Gynt (1996), Best Actor in a Musical for My Fair Lady (2003), and Best Comedy Performance for Too Clever By Half (1988).

His other theatrical credits include Untold Stories, The Habit of Art, Stuff Happens, The Winter's Tale, The Relapse (National Theatre), Hamlet, Peer Gynt, A Midsummer Night's Dream (RSC), The Liar and Candide.

The rest of the cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory includes Niger Planer as Grandpa Joe, Clive Carter as Mr Salt, Jasna Ivir as Mrs Gloop, Paul J Medford as Mr Beauregarde, Iris Robrets as Mrs Teavee, Billy Boyle as Grandpa George, Alex Clatworthy As Mrs Bucket, Roni Page as Grandma Josphine, Myra Sands as Grandma Georgina and Jack Shalloo as Mr Bucket.

Currently booking until 30 May 2015, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory features set and costume designs by Mark Thompson and choreography by Peter Darling.