Christopher Hampton’s early play Total Eclipse will follow the West End-bound gruesome musical comedy Little Shop of Horrors into the Menier Chocolate Factory. The play will open at the Southwark venue on 26 March 2007 (following previews from 19 March), booking to 27 May 2007 and starring Daniel Evans and Jamie Doyle.

Total Eclipse, which received its world premiere at the Royal Court in 1968, charts the relationship between 19th century French poets Arthur Rimbaud (Doyle) and Paul Verlaine (Evans), who embarked on a torrid, emotional, absinth-soaked affair which ended suddenly and dramatically in a Brussels hotel room. It was made into a film in 1995 starring Leonardo DiCaprio and David Thewlis. The playwright himself also appears in the film, as the judge.

Evans was last seen at the Menier in the multi-award-winning Sunday in the Park with George, which also transferred to the West End, with a three month extended run at the Wyndham’s Theatre last summer (See News, 10 Feb 2006). His other stage credits include Merrily We Roll Along (for which he won Olivier and Whatsonstage.com Awards), Candide, Grand Hotel, The Tempest, Cleansed, 4.48 Psychosis, Other People, Where Do We Live, Peter Pan, The Merchant of Venice, Troilus and Cressida, Cardiff East, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cymbeline and Measure for Measure. His film and television roles include Daniel Deronda, Tomorrow La Scala, Being Dom Joly, Dead Air, Deep Sleep, Love in a Cold Climate, Great Expectations, To the Ends of the Earth and The Barber of Siberia.

Recent RADA graduate Doyle played Romeo in Romeo and Juliet for Birmingham Rep, and Jimmy in Shameless on television. His film credits include Don’t Rain on My Parade, Imagine, Lorelei, Loving Ludmillar, Rockabye and Dancing with Lucy.

Currently at the Menier, Little Shop of Horrors finishes its run on 25 February 2007, before opening at the West End’s Duke of York’s Theatre on 12 March (previews from 6 March, See News, 19 Jan 2007).

- by Caroline Ansdell