Two sell-out Off-West End productions - Sunday in the Park with George at Southwark’s Menier Chocolate Factory and The Emperor Jones at Notting Hill’s Gate Theatre - have announced extensions to their limited seasons.

At the Menier, Sunday in the Park with George has added three extra weeks. Sam Buntrock’s production - which has been nominated for five Theatregoers’ Choice Awards, including Best Musical Revival and Best Off-West End production (click here to vote now!) - opened on 29 November 2005 (previews from 18 November) and had been booking until 19 February 2006. It will now continue until 12 March 2006, ahead of a possible West End transfer and cast recording.

Exploring the creative process of French impressionist Georges Seurat, Stephen Sondheim’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1984 musical begins in 19th-century France, where the impoverished painter battles with his art and his personal life. His engrossment in his work drives his pregnant girlfriend to leave him. The action then shifts to modern America where George’s great-grandson is facing similar problems.

At the Menier, Daniel Evans, who won an Olivier for Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along, plays Georges with Anna-Jane Casey as his mistress and muse. The cast also features Simon Green, Alasdair Harvey, Mark McKerracher, Liza Sadovy and Gay Soper.

Sunday in the Park with George has music by and lyrics by Sondheim and a book by James Lapine. The Menier’s is the first major London production since the National staged the musical’s UK premiere in 1990 (See News, 21 Oct 2005). The production features ground-breaking computer-generated set design by David Farley and Timothy Bird.

At the Gate, after a Christmas break, The Emperor Jones returns for an extra 12 performances only, running from tomorrow (5 January 2006) to 14 January (See News, 21 Oct 2005). Directed by Gate artistic director Thea Sharrock, the production opened on 21 November (previews from 16 November) for an initial season to 17 December 2005.

Paterson Joseph leads the cast in Eugene O’Neill’s rarely staged, controversial 1921 drama about greed, set against a backdrop of rebellion. Joseph’s stage credits include Elmina's Kitchen, The Recruiting Officer and Whale at the National, Hamlet at the Almeida, Othello at the Royal Exchange and Raping the Gold at the Bush.

- by Terri Paddock