David Bedella Begins Rehearsals for TORCH SONG TRILOGY - Premiere May 30


Rehearsals begin today, 30th April, for Harvey Fierstein's acclaimed Torch Song Trilogy. The production will be directed by Douglas Hodge and will play at the Menier Chocolate Factory 30 May – 12 August. Full casting is confirmed as follows: David Bedella will be playing Arnold Beckoff, Joe McFadden will be playing Ed, Sara Kestelman will be playing Mrs Beckoff, Tom Harries will be playing Alan, Perry Millward will be playing David and Laura Pyper will be playing Laurel.

This comedy-drama, which won the 1983 Tony and Drama Desk awards for Best Play and was last seen in the West End in 1985, tells the poignant story of an outsider's search for love and acceptance. Originally conceived and performed in three acts, drag queen Arnold encounters passion, thrills, love and loss. This intimate and powerful play is bursting with courage and sharp wit, as Arnold fights for his place in the world and his right to happiness.

Director Douglas Hodge won the Olivier award in 2009 and the Tony award in 2010 for his role as Albin in the Chocolate Factory production of La Cage aux Folles – also written by Harvey Fierstein. His directing credits include See How They Run (Duchess) and Absurdia and Dimetos (Donmar).

David Bedella, who plays Arnold, played Wilson Mizner in the 2011 European premiere of Road Show by Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman at the Menier Chocolate Factory. David is well-known for his Olivier award-winning role in Jerry Springer – The Opera which he performed at the Edinburgh Festival, National Theatre, Cambridge Theatre and, most recently, at Carnegie Hall in New York and the Sydney Opera House. He is currently playing Billy Flynn in Chicago (Garrick). Other theatre credits include: Hedwig and the Angry Inch (West End), The Rocky Horror Show (West End and UK tour), and Chess (Royal Albert Hall). His film work includes Alexander opposite Anthony Hopkins and Batman Begins with Christian Bale.

Sara Kestelman will play the role of Mrs Beckoff, Arnold's mother. Sara won an Olivier award for her role as Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret at the Donmar. She is currently appearing at the Donmar in Making Noise Quietly. Other theatre credits include: Hamlet (National Theatre), Copenhagen (National and Duchess) and Nine (Donmar). Television includes: Trial and Retribution, The Last Romantics and The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes.

Joe McFadden plays the role of Ed Reiss. Joe is known for his TV roles in Casualty, Heartbeat and Cranford. His theatre credits include She Loves Me and How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Missing (National Theatre of Scotland), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Edinburgh Playhouse) and Rainbow Kiss (Royal Court).

The role of Alan will be played by Tom Harries. Tom is due to graduate from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama this summer. He has already appeared in the feature film Hunky Dory alongside Minnie Driver and will soon be seen in Tom Stoppard's period drama blockbuster Parade's End (BBC/HBO).

Perry Millward will play the role of David. Perry's theatre credits include How The World Began (Arcola), Caroline or Change (National Theatre) and Mary Poppins (Bristol Hippodrome). His film and television credits include John Carter of Mars (Disney), Perfume-The Story of a Murderer, Monroe (ITV) and Downton Abbey.

Laura Pyper will play the role of Laurel. Her theatre credits include Don Juan in Soho (Donmar), Danger: Memory! (Jermyn Street Theatre), Punk Rock (Lyric Hammersmith) and Troilus and Cressida (Globe).TV credits include 13 Steps Down (ITV) and for the BBC, Emma, Spooks and Silent Witness.

The production will be designed by Soutra Gilmour - Close the Coalhouse Door (Northern Stage/UK tour), The Duchess of Malfi (Old Vic), Moon on a Rainbow Shawl (National Theatre), Inadmissible Evidence; Polar Bears (Donmar); lighting by Paul Anderson - All New People (Duke of York's), Educating Rita/Shirley Valentine (Menier Chocolate Factory and Trafalgar Studios) and Endgame (Duchess); sound by Gareth Owen - Top Hat (Aldwych), Long Day's Journey into Night (Apollo), Road Show (Menier Chocolate Factory) and End of the Rainbow (Trafalgar Studios and Broadway); and musical supervision by Catherine Jayes – Road Show (Menier Chocolate Factory), Oklahoma! (Chichester Festival) and many productions at the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park.

Previews are Wednesday 30th May – Monday 11th June with all seats £25  and meal deals £32.50. Opening Night is Tuesday 12th June at 8pm. From then, tickets are £29.50 (concessions and group rate £27; meal deals £37).

A meal deal ticket includes a 2-course meal from the pre-theatre menu in the Menier Restaurant as well as the theatre ticket.

Performances are Tuesday - Saturday evenings, 8pm; Saturday & Sunday matinees, 3.30pm. There will be no matinee performances on Sunday 3rd June, Sunday 10th June and Sunday 17th June. There will be an additional performance on Monday 11th June at 8pm.

Tickets can be purchased from 020 7378 1713 (£2 transaction fee per booking) and www.menierchocolatefactory.com (£1 transaction fee per bkg).

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