Casting Complete for Menier Chocolate Factory's CHARLEY'S AUNT


Full casting is now complete for the Menier Chocolate Factory production of BranDon Thomas' comedy classic Charley's Aunt, directed by Ian Talbot and starring Mathew Horne, Jane Asher, Norman Pace and Steven Pacey. Although previously confirmed in the cast, Sam Kelly has had to withdraw from the production and is replaced by Charles Kay.

Star of the BBC's BAFTA award-winning sitcom Gavin & Stacey, Mathew Horne has played many key roles in well loved television series, including regular characters throughout The Catherine Tate Show, the role of Jon Moss in the highly acclaimed BBC film Worried about the Boy, and lead roles in Roman's Empire (BBC); The Proposal – Chekhov Shorts (Sky Arts);Billy Goats Gruff (BBC); The Smoking Room (BBC3); Miss Marple (ITV); Teachers (C4); 20 Things to Do Before You're 30 (C4) and Horne and Corden (BBC). Mathew has co-starred with Imelda Staunton in the West End production of Entertaining Mr Sloane and featured as Henry's Dad in the feature film Horrid Henry. Mathew co-stars in the highly anticipated new BBC3 sitcom Bad Education.

Written in 1892, Charley's Aunt broke all records for play runs at the time when the original production ran for 1466 performances. The play was hugely successful, quickly moving to Broadway and many other countries. The play has been adapted for a number of film versions, most notably in 1941 featuring Jack Benny in the principal role.

Charley's rich Aunt, Donna Lucia d'Alvadorez, is coming from Brazil and the timing couldn't be better. Her presence as a chaperone will allow him and his friend Jack to ask their respective true loves, Amy and Kitty, for their hands in marriage. But time is ticking, so where is Charley's Aunt? On learning she will be delayed by several days, they blackmail their eccentric friend Lord Fancourt Babberley to save their romantic plans and pose as Donna Lucia....and then Charley's real Aunt arrives…

Jane Asher will play Donna Lucia. Asher recently filmed the comedy I Give it a Year and Stephen Poliakoff's new five-part drama for BBC 2, Dancing on The Edge, and recently appeared in BBC's Waterloo Road. On stage in 2011 she appeared as Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest in rep with Farewell to the Theatre, both directed by Stephen Unwin, at The Rose Theatre, Kingston. Other theatre credits include: Festen (Almeida and Lyric Theatre), House & Garden (National) and Things We Do for Love (Gielgud).

Charles Kay will play Brassett. Charles was part of the original cast of the play The Woman in Black. Further theatre credits include All's Well That Ends Well (RSC Stratford and Gielgud), The Miser and The Madness of George III (both National Theatre). TV and film includes Law and Order, Goodnight Mr Tom, Henry V and Amadeus.

Norman Pace plays Spettigue. Norman was last at the Chocolate Factory in the comedy Breakfast with Jonny Wilkinson. Other theatre credits include Dry Rot (UK tour), Donkey's Years (Comedy), Chicago (Adelphi) and Honk (National). As one half of the well known comedy duo Hale and Pace, Norman is a familiar face from his many comedy television series.

Steven Pacey will play Colonel Sir Francis Chesney. Steven played the lead role of Georges in the Chocolate Factory production of La Cage aux Folles in the West End, opposite Graham Norton. Other theatre credits include Spamalot (UK tour), The Birthday Party (Piccadilly) and By Jeeves (Duke of York's – Olivier nomination).TV includes Wallander, Spooks and Blake's Seven.

The cast also includes Benjamin Askew as Charley, Ellie Beaven as Amy, Charlie Clemmow as Ela, Dominic Tighe as Jack and Leah Whitaker as Kitty.

Ian Talbot will direct. Previously the Artistic Director of the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, he was last at the Chocolate Factory to direct The Invisible Man in 2009. His other directing credits include Lend Me a Tenor – the Musical at Plymouth Theatre Royal and Gielgud (West End).

Set and costumes will be designed by Paul Farnsworth and lighting design is by Jason Taylor.






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