Matthew Hardy: Willy Wonka Explained (3 stars)

This article is from 2010.

Matthew Hardy: Willy Wonka Explained

Nostalgic trip back to a time of Veruca Salt and Everlasting Gobstoppers

When Australian comedian Matthew Hardy reached a low point in his life, he turned to the movies for solace. He would often be caught in his underpants with a tinny in one hand and a remote in the other, watching the original Willy Wonka film; in particular he seemed besotted with the character of Veruca Salt; so much so that he finally tracked down actress Julie Dawn Cole and wrote this comic play for and with her.

Willy Wonka Explained: The Veruca Salt Sessions is a nostalgic trip for any fans of the movie and is presented as a dual psychiatric session exploring Hardy and Cole’s individual neuroses. The story seems to almost cut itself short at the point where they first meet and while the gags don’t always hit the mark, the story is engaging and the pair make for excellent company, unusually and pleasingly open to indulge an audience’s fascination by hanging around once the lights have gone back up.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 29 Aug, 7pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7.50–£8.50).

Matthew Hardy - Willy Wonka Explained: The Veruca Salt Sessions

  • 3 stars

Don't miss this refreshing show, which was a smash-hit at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Matthew Hardy and Julie Dawn Cole, the original actress who played the little tyke Veruca Salt in the classic '70s film, appear as if sat on their respective therapist's couches. Dawn Cole, in London, complains about…

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