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Alexander Hanson Joins the English Language World Premiere of THE LIE at Menier Chocolate Factory

The Menier Chocolate Factory today announced that Alexander Hanson joins the company of The Lie playing the husband of his real-life spouse Samantha Bond. Hanson replaces James Dreyfus who has regretfully had to withdraw from the production on medical advice. Tony Gardner and Alexandra Gilbreath complete the company.

The production's press night is on 27 September, running until 18 November. The cast and creative team are working hard to put the play on stage at the earliest opportunity to honour as many previews as possible. Due to Hanson stepping in so late in the rehearsal process, it is likely that some previews will be cancelled - please note the Menier will be in touch directly with any members of the public affected.

Alice spots her friend's husband with another woman. Should she tell her friend the truth...or lie? Her husband Paul is convinced that it is better to lie. But in doing so, who is being protected and who suffers? Both find out that in matters of the heart, the line between the truth and a lie can be a dangerous one to cross.

The production sees the return of Hanson, Zeller, Hampton and Posner to the Menier following the huge success of The Truth in 2016, which later transferred to the West End and was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Comedy.

Samantha Bond plays Alice. Her theatre credits include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Savoy Theatre), Passion Play, Arcadia (Duke of York's Theatre), Amy's View (National Theatre, Aldwych Theatre and Broadway - Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Play), Three Tall Women (Wyndham's Theatre), What the Butler Saw, An Ideal Husband (Vaudeville Theatre), The Cid - Olivier Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Play and The Ends Of The Earth (National Theatre). For television, her credits include Outnumbered, Downton Abbey, The Queen - 1974, Larkrise To Candleford, Mansfield Park; and for film, her credits include Die Another Day, The World Is Not Enough, What Rats Won't Do, Tomorrow Never Dies, Golden Eye and Eric The Viking.

Tony Gardner's theatre credits include Around the World in 80 Days (St James Theatre), The Rivals (Theatre Royal Haymarket), and Bedroom Farce (Duke of York's Theatre). For television, his work includes Last Tango in Halifax, Bluestone 42, and Fresh Meat.

Alexandra Gilbreath's theatre work includes Dessert (Southwark Playhouse), The Wars of the Roses (Rose Theatre, Kingston); for the RSC where she is an Associate Artist, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Twelfth Night (Olivier nomination for Best Actress in a Play), Merry Wives: The Musical, The Taming of the Shrew/The Tamer Tamed, As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, The Winter's Tale, Cyrano de Bergerac and Ghosts. For television, her work includes Absolute Power and Monarch of the Glen.

Alexander Hanson returns to the Menier having previously appeared in The Truth (also West End), A Little Night Music (also West End and Broadway). His theatre credits include The Gathered Leaves (Park Theatre), The Wars of the Roses, Single Spies (Rose Theatre Kingston), Accolade (St James Theatre), Stephen Ward (Aldwych), An Ideal Husband (Vaudeville), Jesus Christ Superstar (UK arena tour), Marguerite (Theatre Royal Haymarket), The Sound of Music (London Palladium), We Will Rock You (Dominion), Candide, Copenhagen, The Merchant of Venice (National Theatre), Sunset Boulevard (Adelphi), Talking to Terrorists (Royal Court) and Hay Fever and Translations (Chichester Festival Theatre). For television, his work includes The Man Who Crossed Hitler, Party Animals, The Fugitives, Auf Wiedersehen Pet and The Last Detective; and for film, Kidulthood.

Florian Zeller is a French novelist and playwright. His work has been translated into several languages. Zeller wrote his first novel, Neiges artificielles (Artificial Snow), when he was twenty-two years old. His second novel, Les Amants du n'importe quoi (Lovers or Something Like It), was well received but it was his third novel, La Fascination du pire (Fascination of Evil), which won the 2004 Prix Interallié, and which made him a household name in France. The book was selected for the Prix Goncourt. In addition to The Truth (Olivier nomination for Best New Comedy), The Father (which won the 2014 Molière Award for Best Play), The Mother (winner of the 2011 Molière for Best Comedy) - all adapted into English by Christopher Hampton - Zeller's other theatre credits include L'Autre, Le Manège, Si tu mourais (Prix Jeune Théâtre of the Académie Française), Elle t'attend, Une Heure de tranquillité and Le Mensonge. His other novels include Les Amants du n'importe quoi (Lovers or Something Like It); La Fascination du pire (The Fascination of Evil); Julien Parme and La Jouissance.

Christopher Hampton has translated plays by Ibsen, Molière, Chekhov, Yasmina Reza (including Art and Life x 3) and Florian Zeller's The Father, The Mother and The Truth. He won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for the adaptation of his own play, Les Liaisons Dangereuses (released as Dangerous Liaisons). He was nominated again in 2007 for adapting Ian McEwan's novel Atonement. His television work includes adaptations of The History Man and Hotel du Lac.

Lindsay Posner returns to the Menier Chocolate Factory having previously directed The Truth, Dinner with Saddam, Communicating Doors and Abigail's Party (also Theatre Royal Bath, Wyndham's and UK tour). His recent productions include The End of Longing (Playhouse and New York), Hay Fever (Duke of York's), Harvey (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Speed the Plow (Playhouse), Relatively Speaking (Wyndham's), A Little Hotel on the Side (Theatre Royal Bath), Other Desert Cities, The Winslow Boy and Noises Off (The Old Vic), The Turn of the Screw (Almeida Theatre) and Uncle Vanya (Vaudeville Theatre). He was Associate Director of the Royal Court from 1987-1992 where his productions included Death and the Maiden (which transferred to the Duke of York's Theatre and won two Olivier Awards), Colquhoun and McBryde and The Treatment.

Set design is by Anna Fleischle; with costume design by Loren Elstein; lighting design by Howard Harrison; sound design by Gregory Clarke and original music by Isobel Waller-Bridge.

Presented by arrangement with Theatre Royal Bath Productions.

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