Clockwise, Oliver, Matthew, Jessica and Hayden all have roles in Four Seasons upcoming stage performance of Willy Wonka the musical, playing April 12, 13, 19 and 20 at Claremont’s Ridge Theatre. (Submitted)

Claremont production of Willy Wonka a family affair

Broadmead family performing six roles in Willy Wonka

Four Seasons’ latest stage production is so family oriented, most scenes for its newest showing will feature at least two members from an acting family, if not more.

The local musical theatre troupe is performing six showings of Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka at Claremont’s Ridge Playhouse April 12 and 13, and then April 19 and 20. In the cast from Broadmead are four members of the Paxman family, which has been a lot of fun, said mom Jessica Paxman, a veteran of half dozen Four Seasons shows. (It’s not the only family as all three members of the West Shore’s Newton family are also in the cast, with Sarah Newton playing Willy Wonka.)

READ MORE: Hear all four seasons in one this spring with Jersey Boys

“It’s a lot of fun, it’s certainly a family affair and we’re all enjoying it,” Jessica said. There’s actually six members of the Paxman family, with two more little ones at rehearsal but who are still in waiting for their Four Seasons debuts.

Jessica plays Mrs. Bucket, while her partner Matt Paxman plays the Candy Man, 12-year-old Oliver plays James while younger brother Hayden, 10, plays Grandpa George. Both boys double as Oompa Loompas. Matt actually played Augustus Gloop in Four Seasons’ Willy Wonka about 25 years ago.

For Hayden, who’s in Grade 5, playing an intergenerational role as Grandpa George is actually one the most comedic parts of the musical, Jessica said.

“Of the four grandparents in bed, three know each other as Grade 5 students and only one is actually old enough to be a grandparent.”

For Oliver, meanwhile, it’s an acting debut and a chance to get comfortable with performing at Claremont, where he’ll likely be starting Grade 9 in two years with hopes of studying in the theatrical program.

Longtime members of Four Seasons Musical Theatre Nikole Crooks and Chantelle Morneau are the co-directors of the show. Kevin Frye is the musical director as the play features the same songs from the 1971 film starring Gene Wilder, with songs by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley. Mirella Standbridge leads the set building team.

It likely won’t be the last performance that sees four Paxmans on stage together. Four Seasons is performing Roald Dahl’s Matilda in the fall, and Jessica believes there’s enough interest that they’ll be returning.

As a parent, one of the trickiest challenges is to let the kids do the learning themselves, Jessica said.

“I try to leave the coaching to [the directors], I have to stop myself and let the directors tell them,” she said. “I do take notes from the director, bring them home and I explain ‘it’s on behalf of the director.’”

Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka runs April 12, 7 p.m., April 13, 2 and 7 p.m., April 19, 7 p.m., April 20, 2 and 7 p.m., at Claremont’s The Ridge Theatre. Tickets for adults are $20, children are $12, with family passes for $60 (two adults, two children) online at victoriaticket.ca or at the door.

reporter@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Pacific FC to face off against FC Edmonton Saturday at Westhills Stadium

Visit the Goldstream News Gazette’s tent for your chance to win a prize pack

PHOTOS: Vancouver Canucks gear up for 50th season with Training Camp in Victoria

‘We have some great guys coming in,’ said player Elias Pettersson

Greater Victoria high school students head to Honduran jungles, reefs for science

Students from St. Andrew’s High School spent the summer surveying the tropics

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

Nanaimo company gets licence to test psychedelic drugs for therapy treatment

Salvation Botanicals interested in manufacturing, testing and research and development

‘A real shame’: B.C. MLA says factors behind Tolko mill closing should have been caught

Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson said the industry is in bad shape across the province

VIDEO: Seniors at B.C. assisted living facility shocked by Oct. 1 eviction notice

Building owners terminate lease for McGuire Lake Congregate Living in Salmon Arm

‘How does it even happen?’: Bear locks itself inside vehicle in Port Moody

It was apparent the suspect had gained entry with his ‘bear’ hands

Most Read