Menier Chocolate Factory

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Menier Chocolate Factory
Menier Chocolate Factory.jpg
Exterior of the theatre
Address 53 Southwark Street
London
United Kingdom
Coordinates 51°30′18″N 0°05′50″W / 51.5051°N 0.0972°W / 51.5051; -0.0972
Type fringe theatre
Capacity 180
Opened 2004
Website
menierchocolatefactory.com

The Menier Chocolate Factory is a 180 seat off-West End theatre, which comprises a restaurant, bar and rehearsal rooms.

It is located in a former 1870s Menier Chocolate Company factory in Southwark Street, a major street in the London Borough of Southwark, central south London, England, some 2.5 km from the theatrical West End. The theatre stages plays and musicals, live music and stand-up comedy. According to the Evening Standard, it is "one of the most dynamic fringe venues in London".[1]

History and awards[edit]

The French company Menier Chocolate Company expanded overseas and built a five-storey factory and warehouse of brick with stone dressings in London between 1865 and 1874. It was listed Grade II in 1996.[2]

The Menier Chocolate Factory was opened in 2004 in its current incarnation, the building having been derelict since the 1980s. It is run by artistic director David Babani.[3] In 2005, the theatre received the Peter Brook/Empty Space Up and Coming Venue Award. In the same year, he and Danielle Tarento jointly won the Evening Standard Milton Shulman Award for Outstanding Newcomer. Tarento left in 2006 to pursue a solo producing career, and was replaced by General Manager Thomas Siracusa.

In 2007 the Chocolate Factory production of the Stephen Sondheim musical Sunday in the Park with George won 5 Olivier Awards, including Best Actor in a Musical for Daniel Evans and Best Actress in a Musical for Jenna Russell. The pair went on to perform the lead roles when the production transferred to Studio 54 on Broadway in February 2008.

In the 2009 Olivier Awards, Douglas Hodge won the trophy for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of drag queen Zaza, in La Cage aux Folles. The production also won the Best Musical Revival category.

In 2010, the Chocolate Factory productions of A Little Night Music and La Cage aux Folles opened on Broadway. The former starring Catherine Zeta Jones and Angela Lansbury and the latter starring Douglas Hodge (from the original London production) and Kelsey Grammar. At the Tony Awards 2010 the shows won in the following categories: Best Leading Actress in a Musical  – Catherine Zeta Jones for A Little Night Music; Best Leading Actor in a Musical – Douglas Hodge for La Cage aux Folles; Best Director of a Musical – Terry Johnson for La Cage aux Folles; Best Musical Revival – La Cage aux Folles.

The theatre continues to produce a mixture of musical and play revivals, new writing and comedy.

Productions[edit]

2005

Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors in 2006
Forbidden Broadway in 2009

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

References[edit]

  1. ^ Menier Chocolate Factory – Restaurant Reviews[dead link]
  2. ^ "English Heritage List entry Number: 1385925". List.english-heritage.org.uk. 1996-04-16. Retrieved 2014-08-02. 
  3. ^ "Interview with David Babani, ''British Theatre Guide'', 2007". Britishtheatreguide.info. Retrieved 2014-08-02. 
  4. ^ Reviews – Sunday in the Park with George (Menier Chocolate Factory), British Theatre Guide, 2005.
  5. ^ Jane Shilling (13 June 2012). "David Bedella tackles the role of Arnold Beckoff with sparkling conviction". The Telegraph. 
  6. ^ Michael Billington (28 Nov 2012). "A superb production by Maria Friedman". The Guardian. 
  7. ^ Matthew Amer (29 January 2013). "Gale has Menier Proof". Official London Theatre. 
  8. ^ Robert McCrumm (21 July 2013). "The Color Purple is a feelgood show for a hot summer's night". The Observer. 
  9. ^ Dominic Cavendish (27 Sep 2013). "This horribly amusing Broadway import is laced with a surprising softness". The Telegraph. 
  10. ^ Michael Billington (2 Dec 2013). "a restless, comic-strip production that has a jaunty ebullience and two outstanding leads". The Guardian. 
  11. ^ Charles Spencer (19 Mar 2014). "If you enjoy farce, you will have a ball at this revival of Ray Cooney's play about lies and assumed identities in a Westminster hotel". The Telegraph. 
  12. ^ Jane Shilling (5 June 2014). "Broadway composer Andrew Lippa offers up a tantalising taster menu of his work that is sexy and sophisticated". The Telegraph. 
  13. ^ Jane Shilling (6 July 2014). "you'll weep with laughter". The Telegraph. 
  14. ^ Paul Taylor (11 Sept 2014). "A brilliantly funny tour de force". The Independent. 

External links[edit]