ROALD Dahl's tale of mystery and the limitless possibilities of imagination has again been re- imagined for the stage.
From West End success to long runs on Broadway, the timeless story is a firm family favourite.
Now it's back on a current UK tour courtesy of a lively Leeds Playhouse co-production directed by James Brining.
We already have film versions, too, from Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp to the forthcoming 2023 release.
There is even an adaptation, of sorts, for a Christmas TV ad for a supermarket.
So welcome back Charlie.
Roald Dahl was always a storyteller with an edge and this version is based on his much-loved best-seller with all its moral directions and strange layers.
This time, back screen projections inspire the imaginations of young and old with impressive multi-coloured video film.
It centres on a competition to win one of the five golden tickets for entry into the enigmatic Willy Wonka's re-opening of his confectionary factory.
One of the hopefuls is Charlie Bucket – played on tour by four talented actors.
On press night, Harmony Raine Riley was outstanding in the demanding role – a soaring voice and personality to match as she lit up the grey junk-yard set featuring the dysfunctional family cramped into a wobbly house.
We only get to meet Gareth Snook's Willy Wonka at the end of Act 1 preparing the audience for surprises to come after the interval.
Gareth has a fine voice but I did miss out on some of his funny asides – maybe the volume could be upped a notch so you don't lose out on the witty dialogue.
When we enter his factory – emblazoned with a huge W – there are plenty of symbolic doors to go through and we are treated to some wonderful video technology.
There are laugh-out-loud moments notably the Squirrel room – which is delightfully nutty.
Charlie is joined on her adventure by granddad played with gusto by Michael D'Cruze.
The scenes of chocolate waterfalls and huge gobstoppers turns the stage into a sweet shop.
And visually, it was a revelation to see the Oompa Loompas here portrayed like sinister robots from Dr Who.
Expect the unexpected, indeed.
The second half in this two and a half hour production certainly has more pace than the plot-setting first half.
An orchestra do a top class job in the pit And there major highlights – a couple of familiar favourites from the 1971 film – Candy Man and Pure Imagination.
These classics are supported by the newer and less catchy numbers.
But all the songs move the narrative along till we reach a joyous finale.
This touring show is like opening a big theatrical selection box – something for everyone and a memory from all our childhoods.
Verdict Visual treat and Sweet Dreams 4 Stars
It is on until November 26.
For tickets, click here @atgtickets.com/liverpool