Year 4 Production – Willy Wonka

On the Friday afternoon before half term, children from Year 4 delighted a large and enthusiastic audience with a production extolling the delights of chocolate and other delicacies. This original concept, the brainchild of Kate Martin, offered up a sumptuous buffet of verse, sketches and song all of which showcased the children’s dramatic and musical talent, at the same time requiring great versatility and powers of concentration for ones so young.

Chocolate Cake was celebrated both in the opening welcome number, and later in a suspenseful and very funny rendition of Michael Rosen’s poem detailing the illicit consumption of said cake, and the inevitable discovery of the crime. Meanwhile some fascinating facts about chocolate had been unearthed – apparently we consume an alarming quantity of Toblerones, and chocolate chip cookies were invented by accident.

After an introduction in song to a ‘lost’ character from from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the odious Matilda Mary Piker, we were treated to two dramatised scenes from the novel – The Bucket Household and The Nut Room. The wonderful hair, make up and costumes, courtesy of Miss Jones and Miss Serbrock, enhanced splendidly engaging performances all round. A cautionary poem on the fate of Verucca Salt, followed by a musical warning against over-indulgence from the Oompa Loompas, completed the Roald Dahl section of the show.

To temper this feast of deliciousness, the poem ‘School Cafeteria’, by Douglas Florian, recited with graphic gusto by the company, reminded us that alas institutional food can sometimes fall short of perfection, even if it is ‘still the best meal of the day’! No equivocation attached to the delights expressed in Rogers and Hammerstein’s ‘My Favourite Things’, however. The children were even inspired to write their own special ‘chocolate’ verse – how felicitous that ‘Crunchies’ rhymes with ‘Munchies’…..

The young performers negotiated their way expertly through the fast-moving and varied programme, finishing off in style with a rousing closing number promising more entertainment next year. After such a banquet of pleasure, everyone departed for the holiday with a spring in their step, a smile on their lips, a song in their hearts – and doubtless a craving for something sweet!
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