With She Loves Me currently running at its home base, Travesties and David Baddiel: My Family Not the Sitcom to open shortly in the West End, and Funny Girl in rehearsals ahead of a major national tour, the Menier Chocolate Factory announces today that Trevor Nunn returns to direct major works from the two of the greatest British playwrights of the twentieth century – Terence Rattigan’s Love in Idleness and Peter Shaffer’s Lettice and Lovage. He previously directed A Little Night Music (also West End and Broadway) and Aspects of Love for the company.
Love in Idleness opens on 20 March, with previews from 9 March, and is running until 29 April. Nunn will follow that with Lettice and Lovage opening on 17 May, with previews from 4 May, and completing its run on 8 July. Casting for both productions will be announced shortly.
Priority booking for Chocolate Factory members for Love in Idleness opens on 25 January, with public booking from 9am on 1 February. Priority booking for Lettice and Lovage opens on 22 February, with public booking from 1 March.
LOVE IN IDLENESS
By Terence Rattigan
9 March – 29 April
Returning from Canada after a four-year absence during the war, eighteen-year-old Michael 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.
This new production sees Nunn return to Rattigan, following the huge success of Flare Path, with another of the playwright’s trio of ‘war plays’, which also includes While the Sun Shines.
Terence Rattigan’s (1911 – 1977) major works include The Deep Blue Sea, The Browning Version, Separate Tables, French without Tears and The Winslow Boy.
LETTICE AND LOVAGE
By Peter Shaffer
4 May – 8 July
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. This is the first major revival of Lettice and Lovage since the 1987 West End production.
Peter Shaffer’s (1926 – 2016) award-winning plays include Five Finger Exercise, The Private Ear/The Public Eye, The Royal Hunt of the Sun, Black Comedy, Equus and Amadeus. Lettice and Lovage received the Tony Award for Best New Play.
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From 1968 to 1986, Trevor Nunn was the youngest ever Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, directing over thirty productions, including most of the Shakespeare canon, as well as Nicholas Nickleby and Les Misérables. From 1997 to 2003, he was Artistic Director of the National Theatre, where his productions included Troilus and Cressida, Oklahoma!, The Merchant of Venice, Summerfolk, My Fair Lady, A Streetcar Named Desire, Anything Goes and Love’s Labour’s Lost. He has directed the world premières of Tom Stoppard’s plays Arcadia, The Coast of Utopia and Rock n Roll; and of Cats, Sunset Boulevard, Starlight Express and Aspects of Love by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Other theatre includes Timon of Athens, Skellig (Young Vic); The Lady From The Sea (Almeida Theatre); Hamlet, Richard II, Inherit the Wind (The Old Vic), A Little Night Music (Menier Chocolate Factory, West End and Broadway), Cyrano de Bergerac, Kiss Me Kate (Chichester Festival Theatre); Heartbreak House, Flare Path, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, The Tempest (Theatre Royal, Haymarket); Scenes from a Marriage (Coventry & St James), All That Fall (Jermyn Street & New York); A Chorus of Disapproval and Relative Values (West End). Work for television includes Antony and Cleopatra, The Comedy of Errors, Macbeth, Three Sisters, Othello, The Merchant of Venice and King Lear, and on film, Hedda, Lady Jane and Twelfth Night.