Menier Chocolate Factory Announces Reopening with New Season For 2022/2023

The season opens in November with the world première of Terry Johnson's new play The Sex Party.

By: Sep. 26, 2022
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Menier Chocolate Factory Announces Reopening with New Season For 2022/2023

The Menier Chocolate Factory has announced programming for its Autumn 2022/Spring 2023 season.

The season opens in November with the world première of Terry Johnson's new play The Sex Party, which Johnson also directs. This is followed by Alex Edelman - Just For Us, after a smash-hit sell-out extended season in New York. Completing the season is the UK première of Jordan Harrison's Marjorie Prime, directed by Dominic Dromgoole, presented in a co-production with Rachel Edwards Productions.

Later this year, the Menier's Olivier Award-winning production of Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along, with Daniel Radcliffe, Jonathan Groff and Lindsay Mendez, directed by Maria Friedman, opens at the New York Theatre Workshop. Also in Spring 2023, the Menier and Umeda Arts Theater's co-production of Stephen Sondheim's Pacific Overtures - directed by Matthew White - will open at the Nissay Theatre in Tokyo, with a later transfer planned to the Chocolate Factory.

Artistic Director of the Menier, David Babani said today, "After our first dark period in 18 years of production whilst the venue underwent necessary maintenance work, we are thrilled to announce our new season of work with the world première of a new play by Terry Johnson, Alex Edelman's smash hit comedy show Just For Us, and completing the season at our home base is the UK première of Jordan Harrison's Marjorie Prime, directed by Dominic Dromgoole. In addition, the Menier will be co-producing work in New York and Japan, continuing the company's long association with the works of Stephen Sondheim with productions of Merrily We Roll Along and Pacific Overtures. It's a busy season for the company, and we look forward to sharing further plans for 2023 with you shortly."

Priority booking for The Sex Party opens today, with public booking opening on 3 October at 9am. Booking for Alex Edelman - Just For Us and Marjorie Prime will open at a later date.

The world première of

THE SEX PARTY

Written and Directed by Terry Johnson

4 November 2022 - 7 January 2023

Press night: 15 November

Designer: Tim Shortall; Lighting: Ben Ormerod; Sound: John Leonard

Four couples gather in a suburban London home for an evening of wine, cheese, and more intimate pleasures. Some are curious, some are more familiar, and one is rather unexpected. Thus a promising evening is poised to go beyond anyone's expectations.

The world première of this play by Terry Johnson similarly promises to surprise, perhaps shock, and most certainly entertain!

As a playwright, Terry Johnson's work includes Dead Funny, Prism and Ken (Hampstead Theatre), Insignificance, Cries from the Mammal House, Hysteria (Olivier Award for Best Comedy), Piano/Forte, Hitchcock Blonde (Royal Court Theatre), The Graduate (West End and Broadway), Mrs Henderson Presents (West End and Toronto), Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick (Olivier Award for Best Comedy) and The London Cuckolds (National Theatre). His directing credits include La Cage aux Folles (Menier, West End and Broadway; Tony Awards for Best Director of a Musical and Best Revival of a Musical; Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival and Critics' Circle Best Musical Award); Rookery Nook (Menier); Oh! What a Lovely War, Fings Ain't What They Used T'Be (Theatre Royal Stratford East; marking the 50th Anniversary of Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop), The Libertine (West End and Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago) and Dumb Show (Royal Court Theatre). West End and Broadway directing credits also include The Duck House, End of the Rainbow, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Rain Man, Whipping It Up, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Entertaining Mr Sloane and Elton John's Glasses. His work for television includes Not Only But Always (Channel 4, which won five International Award nominations, Best Film at Banff and the Best Actor Bafta for Rhys Ifans), The Man Who Lost His Head (ITV), Cor, Blimey! (ITV) and The Bite for the BBC and ABC Australia. Nicholas Roeg's film of Insignificance was the official British Entry at Cannes in 1985. His plays have won him the Playwright of the Year Award 1995, Critics' Circle Best New Play Award 1995, The League of American Theatres and Producers Best Touring Play Awards 2001, plus two Evening Standard Theatre Awards, two Writers Guild Best Play Awards, Time Out Best Play Award, the Mayer-Whitworth Award and the John Whiting Award.

Alex Edelman - JUST FOR US

11 January - 26 February

Press night: 18 January 2023

Director: Adam Brace

Just For Us takes the audience through hilarious anecdotes from Alex Edelman's life - his Olympian brother AJ, an unconventional holiday season, and a gorilla that can do sign language - but at its centre is an astonishing and frighteningly relevant story. After a string of anti-Semitic abuse is directed at Edelman online, he decides to covertly attend a gathering of White Nationalists in New York City and comes face to face with the people behind the keyboards. The result is a hair-raising encounter that gives Just For Us its title and final, jaw-dropping twist.

The production reunites Edelman with director Adam Brace - who have collaborated since 2014.

Presented in New York by Mike Birbiglia, the production was an NY Times critic's pick; and received 2022 Drama Desk, Off-Broadway Alliance and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations.

Alex Edelman is a comedian and writer whose Orthodox Jewish upbringing has informed critically and commercially acclaimed work for the stage and screen. He is known both for his solo shows - three, all award-winning, sell-out hits in London's West End and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival - and for his TV writing. At the start of the pandemic, he served as the head writer and executive producer of Saturday Night Seder, a star studded 70-minute special, posted on YouTube, that has so far raised $3.5 million for the CDC Foundation (COVID-19) Emergency Response Fund.

Adam Brace directs. He is Associate Director at Soho Theatre where he works across comedy, theatre and performance Art and in roles spanning dramaturg, director and writer. In comedy he has developed a varied range of work including 8 Edinburgh Comedy Award-nominated shows, 2 Herald Angel Award-winners, 2 nominees for the Melbourne Barry Award and 2 Southbank Sky Arts Awards. Directing credits include all of Alex Edelman's shows, most recently Just For Us (Drama Desk Nominee 2022) currently extended six times Off-Broadway; Age is a Feeling by Haley McGee (Fringe First 2022, Soho Theatre this autumn); all of Sh!t Theatre's multi-award-winning international shows. Other credits include Ahir Shah's HBO Max special Dots and Creative Supervisor on two series of Soho Theatre Live on Amazon Prime. Previously he was a playwright and was produced by Almeida Theatre, The National Theatre and The Donmar Warehouse; his plays are published by Faber and Faber.

The Menier Chocolate Factory and Rachel Edwards Productions present

The UK première of

MARJORIE PRIME

By Jordan Harrison

9 March - 6 May

Press night: 15 March

Director: Dominic Dromgoole

In this richly spare, wondrous play, Jordan Harrison explores the mysteries of human identity and the limits - if any - of what technology can replace.

It's the age of artificial intelligence, and 85-year-old Marjorie - a jumble of disparate, fading memories - has a handsome new companion who's programmed to feed the story of her life back to her. What would we remember, and what would we forget, if given the chance?

Jordan Harrison was a 2015 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Marjorie Prime. The play premièred at the Mark Taper Forum/Center Theater Group in Los Angeles in September 2014 and had its New York premiere at Playwrights Horizons.

Jordan Harrison's plays include Maple and Vine premièred in the 2011 Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville and went on to productions at American Conservatory Theatre and Playwrights Horizons, among others. Harrison's other plays include The Grown-Up (2014 Humana Festival), Doris to Darlene (Playwrights Horizons), Amazons and their Men (Clubbed Thumb), Act A Lady (2006 Humana Festival), Finn in the Underworld (Berkeley Repertory Theatre), Futura (Portland Center Stage, NAATCO), Kid-Simple (2004 Humana Festival), Standing on Ceremony (Minetta Lane), The Museum Play (Washington Ensemble Theatre), and a musical, Suprema (O'Neill Music Theatre Conference). Harrison is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Hodder Fellowship, the Kesselring Prize, the Roe Green Award from Cleveland Play House, the Heideman Award, a Theater Masters Innovative Playwright Award, the Loewe Award for Musical Theater, Jerome and McKnight Fellowships, a NYSCA grant, and a NEA/TCG Residency with The Empty Space Theater. His children's musical, The Flea and the Professor, won the Barrymore Award for Best Production after premièring at the Arden Theatre. A graduate of Stanford University and the Brown MFA program, Harrison is an alumnus of New Dramatists. He is an Affiliated Artist with Clubbed Thumb, The Civilians, and The Playwrights' Center. Harrison wrote for the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black.

Dominic Dromgoole directs. He launched a new theatre company, Classic Spring, with Nica Burns of Nimax, which produced a year-long celebration of Oscar Wilde in 2017/18 directing the first play in the season, A Woman of No Importance, at the Vaudeville Theatre. Dromgoole was Artistic Director of Shakespeare's Globe from 2006 to 2016. In that time the Globe grew into an international theatre of progressive ambition and radical scope. Amongst other projects, he created a UK-wide touring operation and grew this touring internationally, culminating in a two-year tour of Hamlet which travelled to every country in the world. In 2012, he directed the Globe to Globe Festival, which hosted companies from 37 different countries. He was previously Artistic Director of the Bush Theatre - during his tenure between 1990-1996 he nurtured upcoming talents by premiering 65 new plays from a host of now influential writers such as Billy Roche, Irvine Welsh and Naomi Wallace. He then moved onto the Oxford Stage Company which he ran from 1999 to 2005. He launched a new film company, Open Palm Films, and made his first feature, Making Noise Quietly, in the summer of 2016. The film, released by an adaptation of Robert Holman's play of the same name, starred Deborah Findlay, Barbara Marten, Trystan Gravelle and Matthew Tennyson, and was released by Verve in 2019. He is also the author of The Full Room: An A-Z of Contemporary Playwriting and of Will and Me: How Shakespeare Took Over My Life, which won the inaugural Sheridan Morley award. His latest book, Hamlet: Globe to Globe, was published by Canongate in 2017.




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