Trevor Nunn, who previously directed A Little Night Music at London's Menier Chocolate Factory in a production that subsequently transferred to both the West End and Broadway (where it starred Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury), is to return to the South London venue. He will direct new productions of Terence Rattigan's Love in Idleness and Peter Shaffer's Lettice and Lovage in immediate succession.
Love in Idleness will begin performances March 9, prior to an official opening March 20, for a run through April 29. Nunn previously directed Rattigan's Flare Path in the West End. Love in Idleness revolves around 18-year-old Michael, who, returning from Canada after a four-year absence during the war, is full of youthful ideology and leftist leanings. But he is shocked to find his widowed mother Olivia is now the mistress of cabinet minister Sir John Fletcher, enjoying a comfortable society life. When Michael and John clash, sparks fly and relationships are tested as everyone learns some difficult lessons in love.
Lettice and Lovage will follow, beginning performances May 4 prior to an official opening May 17, for a run through July 8. This marks the play's first major London revival since its original 1987 West End production, which starred Maggie Smith and the late Margaret Tyzack and subsequently transferred to Broadway. In the play, Lettice, employed as a stately home tourist guide, has inherited theatricality and eccentricity from her mother. Caught embroidering the history of the house by Lotte, her supervisor, she is dismissed. During the dismissal interview, they uncover common ground with the result that she and Lotte develop an unlikely friendship.
To book tickets, which go on general sale for Love in Idleness February 1 and for Lettice and Lovage March 1, contact the box office on 020 7378 1713 or visit menierchocolatefactory.com.