Cardiff team dream up Wonka Chocolate Factory

A tangle of giant pipes forming the heart of the factory, a conveyor-belt for the nut-sorting room, and huge flower-filled backdrops were just some of the fantastical features that Cardiff Theatrical Services have built for the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory musical, which opened in London’s West End this week.

Since March a number of pieces have been built from scratch, including the chocolate portal and suction pipe, a mass of enormous factory pipes, a huge town bridge, a macerator and conveyor belts for the squirrel’s nut room and a pair of dancing inventing room pods.  The pieces were created in Wales before being transported to the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane where CTS staff helped with installation.

CTS general manager Darren Joyce said: ‘Originally we were approached to look at building the Ooompa Loompa pipe gantry, which is one of the more challenging pieces of the design as it’s both complex and enormous. We then met with the designer Mark Thompson so we could see the set model and put together an accurate quote for this and other items.  In the end we were very successful and were commissioned to build several pieces, including the chocolate portal and suction pipe which play a big role in eliminating one of the ticket winners.’

Established in 1984, CTS has created scenery for the Welsh National Opera as well as  The Royal Opera, English National Opera, Glyndebourne Opera and The Met in New York.