As previously tipped (See The Goss, 8 Mar 2007), the Menier Chocolate Factory will this month premiere the first new play in 12 years by husband-and-wife writing team Jonathan Lewis and Miranda Foster, whose last play, Our Boys, was an award-winning hit at the Donmar Warehouse in 1995. The new piece, All Mouth opens on 31 May 2007 (previews from 23 May) at the Southwark-based Chocolate Factory, where it has a limited season to 7 July.

Set in the heart of Soho, All Mouth is a wry eavesdrop on the unseen voiceover world, the people behind the voices, the ad agencies and the machinations of the studios. As Digby agonises over what eight records to take for his desert island discs, and Greg can't take the pressure of being down to the last two for a new regular on EastEnders, Mel won't speak to her ex and Paddy pretends to be a banker... they prepare for a strike to protect their livelihoods. But will anyone take striking actors seriously?

In addition to their writing collaborations, Lewis (under the name Jonathan Guy Lewis) and Foster are both actors themselves. Lewis’ TV acting credits include long stints on London’s Burning, Coronation Street and Soldier, Soldier. He was most recently seen in the West End alongside Rob Lowe and John Barrowman in A Few Good Men at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in 2005. He is also an accomplished director and adaptor of shows including A Comedy of Arias and The Pitch.

Last summer Lewis directed the premiere of Chris England’s rugby club-set comedy Breakfast with Jonny Wilkinson at the Menier. He will return to the venue to direct this premiere of All Mouth, which is designed by Anthony Lamble with incidental music by Jason Carr.

The cast for All Mouth features Christopher Benjamin (pictured – A Voyage Round My Father on stage, TV’s Judge John Deed, Heartbeat, Midsomer Murders) as Digby and Simon Chandler (Judge John Deed) as Paddy, along with Caroline Harker (Entertaining Angels on stage, TV’s Touch of Frost, Auf Wiedersehen Pet), Nigel Whitmey and newcomer James Russell.

Currently at the Menier, Paul Miller’s revival of Christopher Hampton’s 1968 play Total Eclipse, starring Olivier Award winner Daniel Evans, concludes its run on 27 May (See News, 2 Feb 2007). Further ahead this summer, the venue is expected to stage the world premiere of Take Flight, a new musical by Americans Richard Maltby Jr and David Shire (See The Goss, 8 Mar 2007).

- by Terri Paddock