Douglas Hodge signs on for Willy Wonka musical

British actor DOUGLAS HODGE is to follow in the footsteps of JOHNNY DEPP and GENE WILDER after signing on to play chocolate maker WILLY WONKA in a new West End musical.

The Olivier and Tony Award-winning thespian, who is currently starring in Cyrano De Bergerac on Broadway, will play Wonka in Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theater Royal Drury Lane in London next summer (13).

Previews for the show, which is to be directed by Sam Mendes, will begin in mid-May and the show is booked until the end of November (13).

It's going to be a busy few months for Hodge as he prepares for the role - as well as playing Cyrano, he is also portraying Princess Diana's butler Paul Burrell in upcoming movie Diana.

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