Features News Published 28 March 2012

Menier Chocolate Factory Announces New Season

Works by Harvey Fierstein and Stephen Sondheim.

Julia Rank

Following on from their production of Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party (see our review here), the Menier Chocolate Factory has announced their next three in-house shows, spanning May 2012 to February 2013.

First up is Torch Song Trilogy (May 30th- August 12th) by American actor and writer Harvey Fierstein directed by actor and director Douglas Hodge. Hodge won an Olivier Award and a Tony Award for his role as Albin in the Menier’s production of La Cage aux Folles, which features music by Jerry Herman and a book by Fierstein. This trio of one-act plays tells the story of a drag queen’s search for love and acceptance. The original off-Broadway production took place in 1978 and it transferred to Broadway in 1982, where it won a Tony for Best Play.

The autumn production is a revival of Brandon Thomas’s much-loved farce Charley’s Aunt (September 20th- November 10th) directed by Ian Talbot. Former Open Air Theatre artistic director Talbot returns to the Chocolate Factory following his production of The Invisible Man in 2010 and he most recently directed the musical farce Lend Me a Tenor in the West End. This classic 1892 comedy features thwarted lovers, cross dressing and much confusion…

Finally, Maria Friedman will be making her directorial debut with Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along (November 16th- February 23rd). Friedman has performed at the Chocolate Factory in The Invisible Man and with her one-woman show Maria Friedman:Re-Arranged and has extensive experience as a Sondheim performer, winning Oliviers for her roles in Sunday in the Park with George and Passion. The moving story of three friends over three decades in the entertainment business features some of Sondheim’s most moving songs, including ‘Old Friends,’ ‘Good Thing Going’ and ‘Not a Day Goes By.’ The Menier has previously had huge successes with Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George and A Little Night Music, both of which transferred to the West End and Broadway.

Casting for all three productions has yet to be announced. Abigail’s Party continues until April 21st and Tamara Harvey’s production of Educating Rita starring Claire Sweeney and Matthew Kelly plays from April 25th- May 12th.

For more information, please visit the website.

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Julia Rank

Julia is a Londoner who recently completed a MA in Victorian Studies at Birkbeck College. Resolutely living in the past until further notice, Julia finds enjoyment in exploring art galleries and museums, dabbling in foreign languages, rummaging in second hand bookshops, and cats.

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