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Cast Announced for The Menier Chocolate Factory's ROOKERY NOOK; Terry Johnson Directs

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Terry Johnson returns to the Menier Chocolate Factory to direct Ben Travers' farce Rookery Nook with a cast including Edward Baker-Duly, Lynda Baron, Nick Brimble, Mark Hadfield, Kellie Shirley, Neil Stuke, Clare Wilkie and Sarah Woodward. Rookery Nook previews from 16 April with press night on 29 April, and runs until 20 June. Designs are by Tim Shortall with lighting by Jason Taylor.

Newly married playboy Gerald Popkiss is on his way to Rookery Nook with his new wife Clara and his mother-in-law. Forced to travel on alone when his mother-in-law suddenly falls sick, Gerald arrives to find quite a commotion. A beautiful young girl has been thrown out of the house next door in nothing but her pink silk pyjamas and begs him to let her stay. Gerald must find the young girl some clothes and, until then, keep her hidden from his sister-in-law Gertrude, who lives nearby, and Rookery Nook's meddling maid, Mrs Leverett.

 

Neil Stuke plays Gerald. His theatre credits include Boeing Boeing at the Comedy Theatre, A Night at the Dogs at the Soho Theatre, Blue/Orange at the Duchess, The Bullet at the Donmar Warehouse, American Buffalo for the Young Vic and Mojo for the Royal Court. Neil is probably best known for his role as Matthew in the BBC One series Game On. His other prominent television work includes Elizabeth - The Virgin Queen, Murphy's Law, Murder in Mind, Grafters, Silent Witness and Trust.

Edward Baker-Duly plays Clive. His theatre credits include Gone with the Wind and South Pacific directed by Trevor Nunn, the West End revival of Salad Days as well as The Lady Vanishes, Dick Barton Special Agent, Singin' in the Rain, Anyone Can Whistle, Side by Side by Sondheim and Twelfth Night. Most recently he has been seen playing Jerry Lukowski in The Full Monty at the Olympia Theatre, Dublin, as well as roles in Secretary Bird and September Tide, both on tour. His television credits include Joe Fisher in Emmerdale and he is best known for playing Mr Malachay in the BBC's Grange Hill. His film credits include De-Lovely and the leading role in Thirteen, a thriller filmed in Ireland which was released last year.

Lynda Baron plays Mrs Leverett. Her theatre work includes In Celebration at the Duke of York's Theatre, The Full Monty at the Prince of Wales, I am Yours at the Royal Court, An Inspector Calls for Chichester Festival Theatre, Stepping Out at the Duke of York's and Follies at the Shaftesbury Theatre. Lynda Baron is best known for her role as Nurse Gladys in the hugely popular BBC series Open All Hours and has most recently been seen in EastEnders in the role of Linda Clarke. Her other television work includes Doctors, Dinner Ladies, Down to Earth, Fat Friends, Goodnight Sweetheart, Last of the Summer Wine and The Upper Hand. On film she has appeared in Colour Me Kubrick, Yentl and Masquerade.

Sarah Woodward plays Gertrude. Her theatre credits include The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Comedy of Errors and Much Ado About Nothing at The Globe, The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other and Present Laughter for The National Theatre, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night's Dream for the Open Air Theatre and The Real Thing at the Donmar in the West End and on Broadway for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. In 1998 she won the Olivier Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for her role in Tom and Clem at the Aldwych Theatre. Her television work includes, Doctors, New Tricks, The Bill, Poirot and Casualty.

Kellie Shirley plays Rhoda. On television she is best known for playing Carly Wicks in EastEnders, a role she played for two years. Her theatre credits include Hamlet at the Stafford Gatehouse, The Miracle and South of Nod for The National Theatre, 20 Shorts, Do You Understand Us? and Slam for the Soho Theatre and Best of the Rest at the Royal Court. Her other television credits include Lewis, The Office, The Bill and Jekyll and Hyde.

Nick Brimble plays Putz. His recent theatre credits include Lear for The National Theatre and Macbeth at the Bristol Old Vic. His previous credits include Fatal Attraction at the Haymarket, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at the Royal Exchange Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company productions of The Night of the Burning Pestle and Wild Oats and The National Theatre productions of Equus and Weapons of Happiness. His television credits include New Tricks, Silent Witness, Emmerdale, Heartbeat, Doc Martin and Casualty. His film credits include A Knight's Tale, Loch Ness and Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.

Clare Wilkie plays Clara. Her theatre credits include Dentity Crisis at the King's Head Theatre, Ten Times Table and My Cousin Rachel at the Theatre Royal Windsor, Absurd Person Singular at the Gatehouse Theatre, Inconceivable at the Yorkshire Theatre and Rats, Buckets & Bombs at Nottingham Playhouse. She is best known for her role as Sandra Di Marco in EastEnders and her other notable television work includes Doctors, Silent Witness, Crossroads, David Copperfield and Eldorado.

Mark Hadfield plays Harold. His recent theatre credits include Hamlet and A Midsummer Night's Dream for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Therese Raquin for The National Theatre for which he was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor, The 39 Steps at The West Yorkshire Playhouse, The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre, Guys and Dolls at the Prince of Wales Theatre and Romeo & Juliet directed by Kenneth Branagh at the Lyric. His television credits include Foyle's War, Casualty, Holby City and The Bill.

Alan Thompson plays Juddy. His theatre credits include the UK tour of Me and My Girl and West Side Story, Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Forum at the Theatre Royal York, Bless the Bride at the King's Head Theatre, Fame at the Cambridge Theatre and The Sound of Music at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. His television credits include Doctors, Hetty Wainthropp Investigates and Jonathan Creek.

Multi award-winning playwright and director Terry Johnson most recently directed the Olivier Award winning La Cage aux Folles - a Menier Chocolate Factory production which has transferred to The Playhouse Theatre. His other theatre directing credits include Rain Man; One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest; Hitchcock Blonde; Cleo, Camping Emmanuelle and Dick; Entertaining Mr Sloane; The Graduate; Insignificance and Dead Funny.

Johnson is a Literary Associate at The Royal Court Theatre where he has directed Dumb Show by Joe Penhall and where he premiered his play Piano/Forte. He has worked with Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre, where he directed Stephen Jeffreys' The Libertine and Lost Land. Johnson has also written and directed for television, most recently the award-winning Not Only But Always for Channel 4.

As well as Rookery Nook, Ben Travers' many plays include The Bed Before Yesterday, Plunder, A Cup of Kindness, Spotted Dick and Thark. In1996 Travers was the recipient of the Evening Standard Special Award for his work in the theatre. Travers' Rookery Nook was first performed at the Aldwych Theatre in 1926, and in 1970 it was filmed for the BBC with a cast including Irene Handl, Richard Briers and Arthur Lowe.

Under the direction of Artistic Director David Babani, and having recently celebrating its fifth birthday, the Menier Chocolate Factory, as well as producing in SE1 at its home theatre, has transferred six productions to the West End - Fully Committed, Sunday in the Park with George, Little Shop of Horrors, Dealer's Choice and, most recently, Maria Friedman Re-Arranged and La Cage aux Folles, which is currently playing at The Playhouse Theatre. Its seventh production to transfer to the West End is Trevor Nunn's production of A Little Night Music which will open at the Garrick Theatre on 28 March 2009. In April, the Menier Chocolate Factory will have five productions playing worldwide: Rookery Nook at the Menier, A Little Night Music and La Cage aux Folles in the West End, Little Shop of Horrors on tour in the UK and Sunday in the Park with George at the 5th Avenue Theater in Seattle. As well as the theatre space, the multi award-winning Menier Chocolate Factory has a restaurant serving pre-theatre and a la carte menus.

For more information, visit http://www.menierchocolatefactory.com/

 

 


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