London's Menier Chocolate Factory Will Offer Torch Song Trilogy, Merrily We Roll Along and More

By Mark Shenton
March 28, 2012

London's Menier Chocolate Factory has announced its forthcoming slate of three productions to run May 2012-February 2013, which will include new productions of Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song Trilogy, directed by Tony winner Douglas Hodge (who starred in the Menier production of the Fierstein-scripted La Cage aux Folles) and Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's Merrily We Roll Along, directed by three-time Olivier Award winner Maria Friedman, making her directorial debut.



In addition, Ian Talbot will direct a new production of Brandon Thomas' classic farce Charley's Aunt.

Torch Song Trilogy will begin performances May 30 for a run through Aug. 12, in the play's first major London revival since it was first seen in the West End with Antony Sher in 1985. According to press materials, the play tells the poignant story of an outsider's search for love and acceptance, as drag queen Arnold fights for his place in the world and his right to happiness.

Charley's Aunt will begin performances Sept. 20 for a run through Nov. 10. In the play, Charley's rich Aunt, Dona Lucia, is visiting from Brazil (where the nuts come from!). The timing couldn’t be better. Her presence as a chaperone will allow him and his cohort Jack to invite their respective true loves, Amy and Kitty, for luncheon to ask for their hands in marriage. Time is ticking, Amy is soon to leave for Scotland, but where is Charley’s Aunt? On learning she is delayed by several days, scuppering their romantic plans, they blackmail their eccentric friend, Lord Fancourt Babberley, to pose as Dona Lucia. Hilarity and chaos ensue as the imposter Aunt is courted by Jack’s father and Amy’s guardian. And then Charley’s real Aunt arrives.

Talbot previously directed The Invisible Man at the Menier, and was represented in the West End last year by his production of Lend Me a Tenor – the Musical. He was previously artistic director of the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park.

Merrily We Roll Along begins performances Nov. 16, for a run through Feb. 23, 2013. Based on the play of the same name by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's musical charts the relationship of three friends over three decades in the entertainment business.

Friedman previously appeared at the Menier in The Invisible Man and a run of her one-woman show Maria Friedman; Re-arranged.

Tickets for Torch Song Trilogy go on sale to Menier supporters from April 9, with general public sales from April 18. Tickets for Charley's Aunt go on sale to Menier supporters from July 2, with general public sales from July 11. Tickets for Merrily go on sale to Menier supporters Sept. 3, with general public sales from Sept. 12.

To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7378 1713 or visit www.menierchocolatefactory.com for more details.