Sunday, July 24, 2005

Big Willy Style

Grandpa Joe! Grandpa Joe! I got the golden ticket!

Well, I didn't, but someone did. Space limitations prevented me from publishing the full text of this item of correspondence in Art of the City this week, so I thought I'd post it here to make everyone all green-eyed and tooth-gnashingly envious, like.

Megan K. scored an invite to the red carpet world premiere of the new Tim Burton rendition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. And it was only her second day in London. Nice work. Here's what she reported back.

" Held at the Odeon Theatre in London's Leicester Square on Sunday, July 17, the London premiere of Tim Burton's Charlie and The Chocolate Factory was like being in a chocolate coated dream. Walking the red carpet, (which was actually green - a la edible Wonka style grass), was madness, larger than life lollies adorning the way and frenzied fans and press alike awaiting star Johnny Depp's arrival.

Dressed in a blue suit, baggy hat, and sporting Pirates of The Carribean facial hair, Mr Depp certainly didn't disappoint. Other green carpeters included stars Helena Bonham Carter, David Kelly (Grandpa Joe), and Deep Roy (yes, that's his name) who plays not one but every single oompa loompa!! Other guests included Val Kilmer, British chat show hosts Jonathan Ross and Graham Norton, a girl group I didn't recognise and Mackenzie Crook, aka Gareth from The Office!!

Inside, Depp, along with director Tim Burton and the kids who play the reincarnated Charlie (the super cute boy from Finding Neverland!), Veruca, Violet, Mike and Augustus introduced the film and we were away. As a Charlie purist - I'm not joking when I say I can sing and talk along with the entire original film - I was excited to see this new adaptation and with a Wonka Fudgemallow Delight to munch on it was a pleasure to see Burton's version of Charlie. Depp's Wonka is quite dark and weird, and there are many childhood flashbacks which help to explain his eccentricity; there are new oompa loopma songs when each of the bad eggs, (or nuts as the case may be this time around!), are sucked up pipes, turned into blueberries, sent down garbage chutes and shrunk by Wonka vision; there are lots of laughs and although it is quite different to the original it was really enjoyable.

Afterwards, clutching our very own Golden Tickets, we were then bussed to the exlcusive after party which was AMAZING. Like being at a really excellent kids birthday party x 100, doubled and then doubled again, with a cherry on top. Cursing myself for only bringing a small handbag into which to cram chocolatey souvenirs, we made our way around the party tasting and trying everything from lollies galore, freshly made fairy floss, milkshakes, and chocolate fondue fountains - white and milk no less- with strawberries, donuts, and various other sweet treets to dip in. The staff manning these fountains were on drip duty, helping many a hand to mouth to avoid the almost unavoidable wearing of chocolate down one's front, or at least chin. Then came my personal highlight - a bounce inside Wonka's Giant Glass Elevator, a massive indoor translucent cube, a jumping castle which, with equal parts chocolate, champagne and over-excitedness, combined for a top night and a fairly sugary hangover! With the child stars hitting the dance floor and the adult ones hovering above in the VIP room, it was a great night all around - I had so much chocolate that even if I'd been offered a lifetime supply I would've had to turn it down for fear of bursting at the seams! "

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