Menier Chocolate Factory reveals new season: The Third Man, Close Up – The Twiggy Musical, Pacific Overtures

The Menier Chocolate Factory in South London has announced a new season of shows for 2023.

A new musical adaptation of The Third Man is to be the next major show at the venue, directed by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Trevor Nunn (Les Miserables).

The musical’s creators make an impressive team, with music by George Fenton (Mrs Henderson Presents), a book by Christopher Hampton (Les Liaisons Dangereuses, God of Carnage), and lyrics by Don Black (Bonnie and Clyde, Tell Me on a Sunday).

Based on the 1949 British film written by Graham Greene and directed by Carol Reed, The Third Man musical will play the Menier from 10 June to 9 September 2023.

Joining Nunn in the creative team will be set and costume design by Paul Farnsworth, lighting design by Emma Chapman, sound design by Gregory Clarke, orchestrations by Jason Carr, musical supervision and direction by Tamara Saringer, and movement and choreography by Rebecca Howell.

Another musical is up next at the Menier Chocolate Factory, from September 2023, with the world premiere of Close Up – The Twiggy Musical.

The show is written and directed by Ben Elton (We Will Rock You), and covers the life story of model and actor Twiggy, from her Neasden upbringing to swinging Sixties superstar status.

Watch & listen to the season announcement video

The creative team will also include set and video design by Tim Bird, costume design by Jonathan Lipman, sound design by Gregory Clarke, musical supervision and orchestrations by Stuart Morley and choreography by Jacob Fearey.

Close Up – The Twiggy Musical will run from 18 September to 18 November 2023 at the Chocolate Factory.

Finally in the season, another musical – and this time the much-touted new revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures.

Matthew White (Top Hat) will direct the revised 2017 version of the show, the first time this will be premiered in the UK.

It will be the first co-production for the Menier with a Japanese company – Umeda Arts Theater, based in Osaka. This production first premiered in Tokyo on 8 March 2023 at the Nissay Theatre, before heading to Osaka’s Umeda Arts Theater from 8 April 2023.

The principle cast in Japan included the duel casting of Koji Yamamoto and Yuya Matsushita as the Reciter; Naoto Kaiho and Yusuke Hirose as Kayama Yasaemon; and Eiji Wentz and Toshiki Tateishi as John Manjiro. Also Hikaru Asami will play Shogun/Madam. Casting is to be announced for the Menier run.

The creative team will also include set design by Paul Farnsworth, costume design by Ayako Maeda, sound design by Gregory Clarke, choreography by Ashley Nottingham, musical supervision by Catherine Jayes, and orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick.

Set in 19th-century Japan, Pacific Overtures has music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, a book by John Weidman, and additional material by Hugh Wheeler. The original Broadway production premiered in 1976 and was staged in Kabuki style.

Pacific Overtures will play the Menier from 25 November 2023 to 24 February 2024.

Artistic Director of the Menier Chocolate Factory, David Babani, said in a statement: “Musical theatre is at the heart of what we do at the Menier, and not having been able to stage a musical for the last 3 years, we’re thrilled to announce a season of 3 back-to-back musicals – comprising two world premières; and a reinvention of Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures. We’ve had the immense privilege to stage many Sondheim works on our stage, so it’s wonderful to collaborate with Umeda Arts Theater and bring his unique voice back to our theatre. We look forward to welcoming Trevor Nunn back to helm The Third Man – a brand new musical by George Fenton, Christopher Hampton and Don Black – for the first time since the Olivier Award-winning Fiddler on the Roof; and also, to collaborate with Twiggy and Ben Elton for the first time with Close Up – The Twiggy Musical.

Currently playing at the Menier Chocolate Factory is Marjorie Prime starring Anne Reid until 6 May 2023. Next up at the Menier is Christina Bianco – In Divine Company, featuring internationally acclaimed singer Christina Bianco, from 11 to 20 May 2023.

More about Pacific Overtures at the Menier Chocolate Factory

Book tickets to Marjorie Prime

Book tickets to Christina Bianco – In Divine Company

Book tickets to Close Up: The Twiggy Musical at the Menier Chocolate Factory

Book tickets to The Third Man – A Musical Thriller at the Menier Chocolate Factory

📷 Main photo: Menier Chocolate Factory - 2023 Musicals Season

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