Menier Chocolate Factory’s Talent Shines Onstage Beginning Sept. 17

News   Menier Chocolate Factory’s Talent Shines Onstage Beginning Sept. 17
 
The Menier Chocolate Factory production of Victoria Wood's 1978 play Talent begins performances Sept. 17 — prior to an official opening Sept. 23 — for a run through Nov. 14.

Wood, who is directing, also composed original music and lyrics for the production.

Leanne Rowe and Susie Toase lead the cast, which also features Mark Curry, Mark Hadfield, Jeffrey Holland and Eugene O'Hare. Set and costume designs are by Roger Glossop, with lighting by Paul Anderson, sound by David Ogilvy and musical supervision by Nigel Lilley. Talent is co-produced with the Old Laundry Theatre, Bowness-on-Windermere, where it played first from Aug. 27-Sept. 12.

"Set on talent night at Bunter's niteclub, contestant Julie (Rowe) and her fat friend Maureen (Toase) are waiting backstage," according to press notes. "As they are plunged into a world of ukulele-wielding pensioners, crotch-grabbing comperes and some long- buried personal history, Julie and Maureen have to decide how lucky they really want to be."

Rowe, who plays Julie, recently played Frances "Baby" Houseman in Dirty Dancing at the Aldwych Theatre. Her television credits include "Trial and Retribution" (ITV1), "Lilies" (BBC1) and "Boudica and The Famous Five." Her film credits include Nancy in Roman Polanski's "Oliver Twist" and "Jane Eyre."

Toase, who plays Maureen, has appeared onstage in Into the Woods (Royal Opera House), Guys and Dolls (Donmar Warehouse), Spittin' Distance (Stephen Joseph Theatre), Time of My Life (Bristol Old Vic), Wizard of Oz (Birmingham Repertory Theatre), My Fair Lady (National Theatre and Theatre Royal Drury Lane) and Singin' in the Rain (West Yorkshire Playhouse and National Theatre). Her television credits include Channel 4's "The IT Crowd" and BBC1's "Hotel Babylon." She most recently played the role of Alecto Carrow in "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince." Curry, who plays the Compere, previously presented the TV children's show "Blue Peter" from 1986-1989. His stage credits include Tons of Money, Dangerous Corner, Absurd Person Singular, Appetite and Season's Greetings (Theatre Royal Windsor) and Joking Apart and London Suite (National Tour).

Hadfield, who plays Arthur Hall, was seen most recently in the Menier Chocolate Factory's production of Rookery Nook. Before that, he was Gravedigger in the RSC's production of Hamlet with David Tennant, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Other appearances include Therese Raquin for the National Theatre, for which he was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Olivier Award, The 39 Steps at The West Yorkshire Playhouse, The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre, Guys and Dolls at the Prince of Wales Theatre and Romeo and Juliet at the Lyric.

Holland, who plays George Findley, is best known for his TV role as Spike in "Hi-De-Hi." His theatre credits include See How They Run (Royal Exchange Manchester), Jack and the Beanstalk (Derby Playhouse), Allo Allo, By Jeeves, Ghost Train, Caught in the Net and Travels with My Aunt on national tour.

O'Hare, who plays Mel, was most recently seen in Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme at Hampstead Theatre. Oher stage credits include Manifesto, performed with Vivienne Westwood for the Royal Shakespeare Company, A Moon for the Misbegotten (Old Vic and Broadway) and Translations (National Theatre).

To book tickets for the Menier Chocolate Factory run, contact the box office at 020 7907 7060 or visit www.menierchocolatefactory.com. To book tickets for the Old Laundry Theatre run, contact the box office at 015394 88444 ext. 223 or visit www.oldlaundrytheatre.co.uk.

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