‘Charlotte and the Chocolate Factory’: Classic Roald Dahl story given woke upgrade by theatre who have sparked outrage by changing the sex of the lead character
- Two young actresses will play Charlie and will alternate with two boys in the role
A theatre company has sparked outrage after casting girls to play the lead role in Roald Dahl‘s Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.
The beloved story of a boy who discovers a golden ticket in a chocolate bar has been retold in movies and on stage countless times, but the latest move by Playful Productions to cast girls in the titular role has left some baffled.
Producers hired two young actresses to play Charlie, who will alternate with two boys in the role, as the production tours the UK.
Audiences have said they were left stunned by the swap, and questioned why it was necessary, The Sun reports.
It comes after backlash earlier this year to the proposed editing of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s books to make them less ‘offensive’ to modern sensibilities.
Roald Dahl’s children’s book tells the story of a little boy who wins a trip to a chocolate factory
Young actress Amelia Minto was cast to play Charlie Bucket alongside three other children
Noah Walton is one of the boys taking up the role of Charlie, who famously finds a golden ticket in a chocolate bar
Young actresses Amelia Minto and Jessie-Lou Harvie were cast as Charlie Bucket for the latest production, and are sharing the role with boys Isaac Sudgen and Noah Walton.
One theatregoer in Cardiff reportedly said they were ‘stunned’ to see Charlie was ‘now a girl’.
And a source also told The Sun: ‘It just confuses the audience. The story is a classic and has nothing to do with gender so it just seems like change for the sake of being woke.
‘Dahl’s stories and characters were genius. Viewers don’t want or need them to be altered.’
Whether or not to rewrite classic works has become a hot topic of debate in recent months, with criticism that edits could curb writers’ ‘freedom of expression’.
The beloved story of a boy who discovers a golden ticket in a chocolate bar has been retold in movies and on stage countless times
Publisher Puffin announced in February that words such as ‘fat’ should be removed from works like Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.
Characters such as Augustus Gloop were expected to be referred to only as ‘enormous’ and Oompa Loompas made gender neutral.
But following criticism, including from the Queen who demanded they did not put curbs on ‘freedom of expression’, the publisher made a huge U-turn, saying they had ‘listened to the debate’.
In recent months, publishers have edited out words deemed offensive in books by late authors Dahl, Christie, Wodehouse and Fleming.
Playful Productions has been contacted for comment.