The West End cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
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Should adults read children's books?

The stage production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory officially opens in London on Tuesday evening.

It is expected to be a success in the West End and on Broadway, just as Matilda has been.

The popularity of such shows appears to be part of a surge of interest in books originally written for young readers.

Lyn Gardner, author of books for children and theatre critic of The Guardian, told the Today programme: "There is an assumption that anything written for children must be second rate.

"Many of these books which are being adapted for the stage are books with classic status, they're the books that make us and take us into adulthood."

Jennie Bristow, associate fellow in parenting studies at the University of Kent, said: "I'm interested in why it is that adults are so attracted to it, and I think that's more about a disenchantment with adult culture."

First broadcast on the Today programme on Tuesday 25 June.

  • 25 Jun 2013