John Stamos releases song for parody musical about disastrous Willy Wonka experience in Glasgow

‘Immersive Willy Wonka experience’ turned out to be a rainbow and a bouncy castle in a sparse warehouse manned by actors struggling to read their lines

Shahana Yasmin
Tuesday 04 June 2024 11:10 BST
Oompa Loompa from Glasgow Wonka experience breaks silence

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Louise Thomas

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John Stamos has released the opening number he recorded for Willy’s Candy Spectacular: A Parody Musical, the forthcoming live musical based on the disastrous Willy Wonka-inspired event in Scotland that took place earlier this year.

Parents paid £35 to take their children to what was billed as an “immersive experience”, complete with a “delectable” chocolate fountain and “whimsical” Oompa Loompas.

But the “world of imagination” ended up being a sparse Glasgow warehouse decorated with a rainbow and a bouncy castle and the Oompa Loompas turned out to be actors struggling to recite scripts hastily handed to them the night before the opening.

House of Illuminati, which hosted the event, apologised and promised to refund the visitors.

Site of the Willy Wonka experience in Glasgow
Site of the Willy Wonka experience in Glasgow (Stuart Sinclair/Facebook)

Stamos’ track traces the downfall of the world and civilisation, and links it to the Glasgow event.

“It was the start of the end of the world, but we didn’t know at the time/An immersive treat that was meant to be sweet would bring down all mankind/It was the start of the end of the world, its significance was easy to miss,” Stamos sings. “A scheme gone bad-turned-viral fad brought us to the apocalypse/Some thought it’d be Trump or Putin, setting the world ablaze/Some thought it’d be masks of Covid vaccinations that led to the end of days/But no, it was Willy’s Candy Spectacular.”

“After playing Willy Wonka in concert at the Hollywood Bowl, I was happy to join in when that event’s director, Richard Kraft, asked me to record a demo of the opening number to his upcoming stage show, Willy’s Candy Spectacular: A Parody Musical, spoofing the Wonka rip-off fiasco in Glasgow,” Stamos said.

“Any opportunity to sing a batshit crazy song about The End of Days and to be pelted by candy is something to savour.”

Willy’s Candy Spectacular

Producer Richard Kraft of Kraft-Engel Productions, who came up with the idea for the parody musical, had directed Stamos before in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in Concert at the Hollywood Bowl.

“The process of creating a brand-new musical, which usually spans years, is being condensed into just a couple of months, with the team sharing their progress through social media,” said Kraft.

“We love musicals with epic opening numbers. And we thought — what could be more epic than John Stamos singing about the end of humanity and linking our species’ demise to an underwhelming immersive experience in Scotland?” said songwriters Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner, known for Broadway’s First Date and ABC’s Once Upon a Time.

Another song titled “Dreamed to Dream” was also released, featuring TikTok singers The Sharpe Family Singers and Kirsty Paterson, who went viral as the sad Oompa Loompa in the actual Willy Wonka event.

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