Why were Police Scotland called to a 'shambolic' Willy Wonka-inspired event in Glasgow?

The story of an eccentric chocolatier, Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate factory is beloved the world over even though the story ends rather badly for some of the kids involved. This is why a Scottish event hosted this week by a group called the House of Illuminati has left a whole new generation rather upset.

Police were called to a Willy Wonka-inspired 'experience' after furious parents complained their kids had been brought to tears by the "shambolic" event.

What happened at the Willy Wonka experience event in Glasgow?

Punters who paid £35 a head for the 'immersive experience' were left fuming by the lacklustre set design when they turned up to a near-empty warehouse.

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And officers later attended the venue, in Glasgow, on Saturday (Feb 24) as dozens of parents vented their rage at those responsible and demanded full refunds.

The Willy Wonka-inspired event that police were called to in Glasgow.The Willy Wonka-inspired event that police were called to in Glasgow.
The Willy Wonka-inspired event that police were called to in Glasgow. | Jenny Fogarty / SWNS

Pictures of the event, which was hosted by the House of Illuminati and meant to last two days, showed how its staging area was scarcely decorated with props.

Although organisers said it would be a "paradise of sweet treats", parents complained their kids were just handed out a few jelly babies - and the experience had lasted a matter of minutes.

Police Scotland confirmed officers were called to the venue as angry crowds started to gather outside. Organisers were later forced to issue more than 800 refunds.

Why were the police called?

One furious mum wrote on social media: "We arrived yesterday at 10:30.

"Waited in a huge queue for about 40 minutes and then when we got inside there was more waiting around.

"Underwhelming was an understatement. Embarrassing doesn't even cut it. I paid for Willy Wonka and got Billy Bonkers."

Another dad said the much-hyped experience had fallen far below his expectations before it was suddenly cancelled.

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He added: "What an absolute shambles of an event.

"This was described as the full willy wonka experience with chocolate fountains etc and a great day out for the kids.

"Took 2 minutes to get through to then see a queue of people surrounding the guy running it complaining. The kids received 2 jelly babies and a quarter of a can of barrs limeade "Wouldn't recommend this company for anything, event has now been shut down and cancelled for today very professional......"

'Sexy' costume handed out to improv actress

Jenny Fogarty in her costume.Jenny Fogarty in her costume.
Jenny Fogarty in her costume. | Jenny Fogarty / SWNS

Jenny Fogarty, 25, who was hired to play an Oompa Loompa said she was given a 15-page 'script' to learn the evening before the event was set to begin.

And she said her costume arrived just an hour before families entered the venue, which she was shocked to see was a 'sexy' version.

Jenny said: "I was there from Saturday. I was hired as an Oompa Loompa. I didn't get a costume until Saturday morning, about an hour before people started to arrive.

"I noticed that the costumes we were given - all of them were female, and we were given the sexy version as opposed to the traditional ones.

"Some people had T-shirts underneath to give it a bit more modesty. I just had a lacy shirt underneath.

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"The wigs were very cheap. We were just handed an Amazon box that probably arrived that morning."

Jenny said she and her fellow actors were asked to improvise, but as they had no rehearsal time, the event soon fell apart.

She added: "It was shocking. It was embarrassing to be pretty honest. We were trying our best, all the actors, to make it work.

"But we were given just 12 hours to learn our script and told to just improvise. It's not easy to improvise a whole show."

Jenny revealed that she was offered £16.66 an hour for her role in the event, but said as far as she knew, none of the cast had been paid.

And she said some of those involved in the production were also forced to give statements to police when officers turned up on Saturday.

She added: "By the end, understandable, people were getting really annoyed. That's when the security came up to me and told me they were shutting it down.

"When we went back to get to our cars, that's when we saw the police had showed up. One of the actors who played a Wonka gave a statement to the police."

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How have the organisers responded?

The Willy Wonka-inspired event that police were called to in GlasgowThe Willy Wonka-inspired event that police were called to in Glasgow
The Willy Wonka-inspired event that police were called to in Glasgow | Jenny Fogarty / SWNS

House of Illuminati apologised for the 'stressful and frustrating day' and said on its Facebook page it would refund attendees.

It said: "Unfortunately 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.

"We fully apologise for what has happened and will be giving full refunds to each and every person that purchased tickets.

"We planned a fabulous event and it just did not take shape as planned and for that we are truly sorry we are devastated at how this has turned out."

It went on: "We understand people's anger and frustration that everyone has had, refunds have already started being issued and the rest should be over the coming days. Again we are truly sorry to everyone."

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