Grade 12 student Anika Luteijn takes the lead as Willy Wonka in D.W. Poppy Secondary’s production of ‘Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka.’ Miranda Gathercole Langley Times

VIDEO: Poppy students sweeten the stage with Willy Wonka musical

Nearly 70 students involved in production of ‘Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka,’ running March 7 to 10

When a penniless Charlie Bucket wins one of only five golden tickets to tour the Willy Wonka chocolate factory, he has little idea what crazy adventures are in store.

Join Charlie, his guest Grandpa Joe, and the four other winners as they embark on a delicious journey through the chocolate room, the fizzy lifting drink room, the nut room and more in Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka.

The musical, based on Dahl’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the 1971 movie adaption, is being performed by D.W. Poppy Secondary from March 7 to 10.

Nearly 70 students from Grades 8 to 12 are involved in the production as members of the cast, crew and live orchestra.

Staging Willy Wonka this year was an easy choice, as the songs and characters lend themselves to the strengths of the 38 student cast members, said drama instructor James Howard.

“We have a very female heavy cast, so right away we thought Charlie could be easily played by a girl, Willy could be easily played by a girl. In the Johnny Depp version (2005 movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) Willy Wonka’s a bit more androgynous,” Howard said.

“We thought it would be a good fit (and) we thought it would be fun.”

The set — complete with a mobile pink boat that seats nine actors, a giant chocolate river and a scissor lift ‘Wonkavator’ — was built by two dozen students in the school’s stage craft program.

Shows will run every night at 7 p.m., with a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $12 for students and seniors and $15 for adults. Purchase online at or email Howard at

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Markus Sul plays one of several Oompa-Loompas in D.W. Poppy Secondary’s production of ‘Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka.’ Miranda Gathercole Langley Times

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