Mathew Horne to Lead Menier Chocolate Factory's CHARLEY'S AUNT


The Menier Chocolate Factory will present BranDon Thomas' comedy classic Charley's Aunt, from 20th September – 10th November, directed by Ian Talbot and starring Mathew Horne.

Mathew Horne will play the central role of Lord Fancourt Babberley. Horne last appeared in the West End opposite Imelda Staunton in the critically acclaimed production of Entertaining Mr Sloane at the Trafalgar Studios. Mathew is also well known as Gavin in the BAFTA award winning television series Gavin and Stacey, and his roles alongside comedy partner James Corden in their BBC sketch show Horne and Corden and the feature film Lesbian Vampire Killers. Other TV credits include series regular in the award winning Catherine Tate Show, also Worried About the Boy, Roman's Empire, Billy Goat's Gruff (all BBC), Teachers and 20 Things to Do Before You're 30 (C4).

Written in 1892, the play 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. Other noted actors to play Lord Fancourt Babberley include Richard Goolden, Leslie Philips, John Mills, Frankie Howerd, Tom Courtenay and Griff Rhys Jones.

Charley's rich Aunt, Dona Lucia, is visiting 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 Dona Lucia....and then Charlie's real Aunt arrives…

Ian Talbot will direct. Previously the Artistic Director of 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 at Plymouth Theatre Royal and Gielgud (West End).

Design is by Paul Farnsworth and Lighting Design is by Jason Taylor.

Full casting to be announced shortly.

Tickets go on sale to Chocolate Factory supporters from Monday 2nd July, and to the general public from Wednesday 11th July.

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