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Viral Willy Wonka Glasgow event to be turned into musical

A new musical satire based on a Glasgow Willy Wonka experience that went viral is in the works.

The show's lead producer, Richard Kraft, has assembled a team of writers and producers for the project titled Willy Fest: A Musical Parody.

The event in February gained notoriety after angry families, who paid up to £35 to attend, demanded their money back.

Kraft says he hopes people watching the show "won't be left in tears."

The creative team working on the musical includes Emmy-nominated actor and comedian Riki Lindhome who tweeted, "I'm so excited," along with screenshots of an article.

Others attached to the project include Broadway songwriters Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner.

Kraft is known for producing and directing a Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory concert at the famed Hollywood Bowl.

He told the BBC it was his idea to turn the Glasgow event into a musical and that the writing team was "assembled in less time than it takes for someone to sing the first verse of 'Oompa Loompa Doompa-Dee-Do'."

He hopes to launch the musical later this year.

"Since the thing we are satirising only happened a few weeks ago, we are jumping in hard and fast coming up with our story arch, main characters, antagonists and song moments," he said.

"I don't want to fall into putting on the very thing we are satirising, so we are talking to investors now to make sure we have the proper budget to execute this well."

Asked why the Glasgow event might be ripe for the musical theatre treatment, Kraft said: "It is about desperate dreamers who actually have fragments of a great idea, just executed beyond their budget and abilities."

He said he loved shows "about big-hearted flim-flam artists in musicals like The Music Man, The Greatest Showman, and The Producers. At the core they are romantics who get in over their heads."

Kraft said the writing team was made up of people who love musicals and comedies, and hopes the end result will be "ridiculously tuneful and just plain ridiculous" and "with no small amount of heart."

The Glasgow event's legacy continues to live on - a recent eBay auction of some of the props used has raised more than £2,000 for the UK charity Medical Aid for Palestinians.

Three backdrops from the Glasgow show that were found in a bin were bought for £2,250 by musician Ben Howard.

The items were passed to Monorail record store after being found outside the warehouse where the event was staged.

"It was £900 and then jumped to £1,050, then one second before it closed it was £2,050 and it came through at £2,250," Monorail's online manager Michael Kasparis said.

"We'd thought if it goes into four figures we'd be very happy so it was a pretty amazing result."

The Willy Wonka experience in Glasgow
Visitors to the event paid up to £35, many asked for a refund

The "Willy Wonka Experience" was originally billed as a "journey filled with wondrous creations and enchanting surprises at every turn".

It was abruptly cancelled by organisers House of Illuminati following complaints from parents, with some attendees saying they saw children crying with disappointment.

In a post on Facebook at the time, a spokesperson said: "Today has been a very stressful and frustrating day for many and for that we are truly sorry.

"Unfortunately, at the last minute we were let down in many areas of our event and tried our best to continue on and push through and now realise we probably should have cancelled first thing this morning instead."

They added that they "fully apologise" and would be giving "full refunds to each and every person that purchased tickets."

Police Scotland confirmed that officers were called to the event and advice was given.

The Unknown at the Willy Wonka event in Glasgow
The Glasgow event featured a character called "The Unknown" who is absent from the traditional Willy Wonka plotline

The event sparked hilarity and memes on social media and now a horror film inspired by one of its unique characters is supposedly in the works.

Kaledonia Pictures says its film The Unknown is "inspired by the internet phenomenon that has taken the world by storm" and will follow "a grieving family who unleash an unknowable evil".