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Menier Chocolate Factory Announces Spring Season For 2020

With the critically acclaimed production of The Boy Friend currently running at the theatre, the Menier Chocolate Factory today announce the forthcoming two productions - the European première of Paula Vogel's Tony Award-winning play Indecent, directed by Rebecca Taichman; and Alan Bennett's Habeas Corpus directed by Patrick Marber, who returns to the Menier following his smash-hit production of Tom Stoppard's Travesties.

In addition, also this season, the company's production of The Boy Friend transfers to The Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto, with Kelsey Grammer as Lord Brockhurst; and its co-production with Chichester Festival Theatre of Laura Wade's acclaimed The Watsons will open for a limited season at the Harold Pinter Theatre in May.

Booking for Indecent for supporters of the Menier opens on 20 January, with public booking opening on 27 January at 9am. Booking opens for Habeas Corpus in March.


By Paula Vogel

Director: Rebecca Taichman

13 March - 9 May

Press night: 23 March at 8pm

A seminal work of Jewish culture or an act of traitorous libel? Indecent explores the origins of the highly controversial play The God of Vengeance by Sholem Asch. We follow the path of the artists who risked their careers and lives to perform it in this deeply moving play accompanied by a small live klezmer band.

Indecent reunites Vogel and director Rebecca Taichman who co-created and directed the original production. Indecent had its world première production at Yale Repertory Theatre in October 2015. The play had its New York première Off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre in May 2016, and transferred to Broadway in April 2017. It was nominated for the Tony Award for Best New Play received the Tony Awards for Best Direction of a Play for Taichman and Best Lighting Design of a Play for Christopher Akerlind (who will also light the Menier production).

Paula Vogel is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright whose other plays include How I Learned to Drive (Broadway production set for spring 2020; Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Lortel Prize, OBIE Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle and New York Drama Critics Awards for Best Play), The Long Christmas Ride Home, The Mineola Twins, The Baltimore Waltz, Hot'n'Throbbing, Desdemona, And Baby Makes Seven, The Oldest Profession and A Civil War Christmas. Her plays have been produced across the US and worldwide.

Rebecca Taichman directs. Her credits include Sing Street (New York Theatre Workshop and forthcoming Broadway run at Lyceum Theatre), Time and the Conways (Roundabout Theatre Company at the American Airlines Theatre), School Girls; Or, The Mean African Girls Play (MCC), This Flat Earth, Familiar, Stage Kiss, Milk Like Sugar (Playwrights Horizons), How To Transcend a Happy Marriage (Lincoln Center), Rappaccini's Daughter, Dark Sisters (Gotham Chamber Opera), Luck of the Irish (LCT3), Orlando (Classic Stage Company), Orpheus (New York City Opera), The Scene (Second Stage), Menopausal Gentleman (The Ohio Theatre).

Indecent is being presented in association with Daryl Roth, Elizabeth I McCann and Cody Lassen.


By Alan Bennett

Director: Patrick Marber

15 May - 4 July

Press night: 21 May at 8pm

The antics of the Wicksteed home are a darkly satirical merry-go-round in Alan Bennett's Habeas Corpus. Family, friends and the quest for sexual pleasures of the body ("corpus") are the ruling passions in this farcical comedy of ill-manners. Through an escapade of mistaken identities and carnal encounters, one motto holds fast: "He whose lust lasts, lasts longest."

Multi-award-winning playwright Alan Bennett is also a screenwriter, actor and author. His other works for the stage include The History Boys, The Habit of Art, The Lady in the Van, Talking Heads, The Madness of George III, Kafka's Dick, Enjoy, The Old County and A Cuckoo in the Nest.

As a director, Patrick Marber's work includes Leopoldstadt (Wyndham's Theatre), Travesties (Menier Chocolate Factory, Apollo Theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company's American Airlines Theatre), Steve Coogan/John Thompson in Characters (Edinburgh/Purcell Room/Touring), and his own plays Dealer's Choice (National Theatre/Vaudeville Theatre), Closer (National Theatre/Lyric Theatre/Broadway), Howard Katz and Three Days In the Country (both National Theatre). Other productions include '1953' (Almeida Theatre), Blue Remembered Hills (National Theatre), The Old Neighborhood (Royal Court at Duke of York's Theatre), The Caretaker (Comedy Theatre) and I Remember (devised piece at Royal Court). For television, he directed After Miss Julie and The Curator (both for the BBC). As a writer, his other work includes The Musicians (NT Connections) After Miss Julie, Don Juan in Soho (Donmar Warehouse and Wyndham's) and The Red Lion (National Theatre). For television, his work includes: co-writer of The Day Today, Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge, Paul Calf Video Diaries, The Curator, Natural Born Quizzers (all BBC); for film, Closer (dir. Mike Nichols), Notes on a Scandal (dir. Richard Eyre) and Love You More (dir. Sam Taylor-Wood); and for radio, Hoop Lane (BBC Radio 3) and Bunk Bed with Peter Curran (BBC Radio 4).




A new play by Laura Wade

Adapted from the unfinished novel by Jane Austen

Director: Samuel West; Designer: Ben Stones; Lighting Designer: Richard Howell

Sound Designer: Gregory Clarke; Movement: Mike Ashcroft; Music: Isobel Waller-Bridge

Casting Director: Charlotte Sutton

8 May - 26 September

Press night: 19 May at 7.30pm

Following sold-out runs at both Chichester Festival Theatre and the Menier Chocolate Factory, Laura Wade's The Watsons transfers to the West End. The production opens at the Harold Pinter Theatre on 19 May, with previews from 8 May, and runs until 26 September.

Nineteen and new in town, Emma Watson's been cut off by her wealthy aunt. She needs to marry, and fast, or be faced with a life of poverty and spinsterhood stuck in her humdrum family home.

Luckily, she has plenty of prospective suitors asking to dance, from dashing socialite Tom Musgrave to the stinking rich, socially awkward Lord Osborne. Which partner to pick?

So far, so familiar, but that's when Jane Austen stopped writing. Two hundred years on, her forgotten heroine's happy ending still hangs in the balance.

Picking up an unfinished novel, Olivier Award-winner Laura Wade's 'ingenious and triumphant' (Evening Standard) new comedy pops the bonnet on Jane Austen's world and asks: what happens when a writer loses the plot and fictional characters take control of their tale?

Laura Wade is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. Her credits include Home, I'm Darling (Theatr Clwyd, National Theatre, Duke of York's Theatre and UK tour - Olivier Award for Best New Comedy), Tipping the Velvet (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, adapted from the novel by Sarah Waters), Posh (Royal Court Theatre and West End), Alice (Sheffield Theatres), Kreutzer vs. Kreutzer (Sydney Opera House and Australian Tour, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Royal Festival Hall and UK tour), Other Hands (Soho Theatre), Colder Than Here (Soho Theatre and MCC Theatre New York), Breathing Corpses (Royal Court Theatre), Young Emma (Finborough Theatre), and 16 Winters (Bristol Old Vic Basement). Film credits include The Riot Club and Britain Isn't Eating.

Samuel West directs. His directorial work includes After Electra (Tricycle Theatre), Close The Coalhouse Door (Northern Stage), Waste (Almeida Theatre) and Dealer's Choice (Menier Chocolate Factory/Trafalgar Studios). As Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres he directed the first revival of The Romans in Britain by Howard Brenton, and As You Like It for the RSC's Complete Works Festival. He also directed Money by Edward Bulwer-Lytton for BBC Radio. As an actor, work includes the title roles in Hamlet and Richard II for the RSC, Jeffrey Skilling in Lucy Prebble's Enron (Chichester/Royal Court/Noel Coward theatres), three series of Mr Selfridge, the film Howards End, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Suffragette and On Chesil Beach. He is currently filming All Creatures Great and Small.

This production is based on the original Chichester Festival Theatre production which had its world première at the Minerva Theatre on 3 November 2018.

Twitter and Instagram: @TheWatsonsPlay

Facebook: /TheWatsonsPlay


The Menier Chocolate Factory presents


Book, Music and Lyrics by Sandy Wilson

Director: Matthew White; Choreographer & Associate Director: Bill Deamer

Designer: Paul Farnsworth; Lighting Designer: Paul Anderson; Sound Designer: Gregory Clarke

Hair & Wig Designer: Richard Mawbey; Musical Supervisor & Director: Simon Beck

Orchestrator: David Cullen

The Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto

31 March - 3 May

Following a critically acclaimed sell out run at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Matthew White's revival of Sandy Wilson's all-singing all-dancing love letter to 1920s, The Boy Friend, transfers to The Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto, with Kelsey Grammer making his Canadian stage debut as Lord Brockhurst. The full cast for the production, which runs from 31 March to 3 May, will be announced shortly.

Set in Madame Dubonnet's finishing school in the south of France, these perfect young ladies burst into song at the least provocation, and forbidden boy friends are forever popping through the French windows to sing and dance with them. Since its premiere in 1953, this light-hearted soufflé of a show has delighted audiences worldwide and has become one of the most well-loved British musicals of all time.

The Boy Friend opened in London in 1953, before a West End run in 1954, and ran for more than 5 years. The subsequent Broadway run in 1954 made a star of the then-unknown Julie Andrews. Ken Russell adapted it into a 1971 film with Twiggy who won two Golden Globes for her performance.

Matthew White returns to the Menier - he previously directed She Loves Me, Candide, Sweet Charity (also Haymarket Theatre), Little Shop of Horrors (also Duke of York's Theatre), and The Last Five Years for the company. His other theatre work includes The Addams Family (Festival Theatre, Edinburgh and UK tour), Kiss Me Kate, West Side Story (Kilworth House), The Producers (UK tour), Top Hat (also adapted for the stage, UK tour and Aldwych Theatre - Olivier Award for Best New Musical), Maria Friedman - By Special Arrangement (Donmar Warehouse), Closer than Ever (Jermyn Street Theatre), and Mr Stink (also adapted, Curve and UK tour).

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