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Lad cast to play Willy Wonka in 'fiasco' family experience speaks out on event's 'red flags'

Lad cast to play Willy Wonka in 'fiasco' family experience speaks out on event's 'red flags'

Kids were given 'one jelly bean and a quarter cup of Tesco-branded lemonade', the actor says

The actor who played Willy Wonka in the ill-fated Wonka experience in Glasgow has spoken out about the 'fiasco' event.

Bosses of House of Illuminati, the company that ran the event, apologised for the disastrous family fun day which cost £35 per ticket to attend last weekend.

The company promised a Willy Wonka-inspired day out with Oompa Loompas running riot throughout the chocolate themed land.

The reality was far from the image advertised, which used AI images to advertise the event that took place in a rather bleak and empty looking warehouse.

Families turned up and found a few props thrown around the building, alongside a bouncy castle. But things got so bad that the police were called.

English comedian Paul Connell, who lives in Scotland, was cast as one of the actors playing Willy Wonka in the experience.

Stuart Sinclair

Since the disastrous event went viral, the funnyman has taken to his TikTok account to document his experience of the event from the side of the actors.

He wasn't impressed, and spoke out about the 'red flags' he got.

One of them was, he says, a 15 page script that was 'AI generated gibberish' that he was given one day to learn.

On top of this, the script itself focused around an 'evil chocolate maker called The Unknown', which was hardly in-keeping with the general upbeat Wonka theme.

A video of the bizarre creature 'The Unknown' has gone viral, with kids 'left crying' from the unique show.

The Wonka experience.
Stuart Sinclair

Paul also says he was told to hand out every child 'one jelly bean and a quarter cup of Tesco-branded lemonade', with there being no chocolate available for the children.

On TikTok, Paul said: "The first red flag for me was when I was cast as Willy Wonka. Anyone who looks at me and thinks Willy Wonka and not Oompa Loompa is out of their mind.

"I give off major Oompa Loompa energy but not like a good one, one that's at the back during the dance numbers falling over."

He continued: "I got cast for the part on the Thursday and I was told that I needed to learn the script for the Friday.

"So I said no problem send it over... the script was a 15 page monologue of AI generated gibberish which I will read some for you. In fact I don't need to read it because I learnt it all and it was mad."

Paul Connell was cast as Willy Wonka.

Paul went on: "One of my favourite lines was 'there is a man who lives here and his name is not known. His name is not known so we call him The Unknown.

"The Unknown is an evil chocolate maker who lives in the walls.

"What? What is an evil chocolate maker? Does he make evil chocolate or is he an evil man who makes chocolate? And what does he mean he lives in the walls?!

"I had to perform that line with gusto and validity. That was a challenge as an actor."

And as for the food situation, Paul revealed: "We were told on the experience to hand out one jelly bean per child and a quarter of a cup of Tesco's own brand lemonade. No chocolate.

Lemonade was not in plentiful supply.
Facebook/Fiona Hughes

"There was no chocolate to be had at this chocolate factory... a missed opportunity."

One part of the experience was meant to show him 'sucking up The Unknown with a vacuum cleaner' which he says he was 'told to improvise on' given the lack of a vacuum cleaner.

Paul said: "You either have a vacuum cleaner or you don't have a vacuum cleaner. That's the two rules of having a vacuum cleaner, so I made the creative decision to cut that out of the script."

He said he was 'embarrassed' by his involvement in the show and spent his lunch break 'sat in his car staring into the void'.

When he returned from his break, people had become 'furious and were shouting' while filming it on their phone, with guests (understandably) unimpressed with what they paid for.

Billy Coull is the director of events company House of Illuminati, and said that he was 'truly and utterly sorry' for the event.

Speaking to STV, Coull said they were missing some parts of the experience as they didn't arrive in time.

He said: "I’m really shocked that the event had fallen short of the expectations of people on paper. My vision of the artistic rendition of a well known book didn’t come to fruition. For that I am absolutely truly and utterly sorry.

"There was every intention to hold the event, from the pictures, despite not being in the best light hopefully you’ll be able to see that there was every intention to hold the event."

Featured Image Credit: TikTok/@paulconnellcomedy / Stuart Sinclai

Topics: Social Media, TikTok, UK News, Viral, Weird