As reported last week (See News, 18 Sep 2008), the Menier Chocolate Factory has confirmed that its now-traditional Christmas revival of a Broadway musical classic this year will be the long-rumoured new production of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, directed by Trevor Nunn. Full dates and creative details have now been released.

The production – which marks Nunn’s Sondheim debut - opens on 3 December 2008 (previews from 22 November) at the 150-seat Southwark venue, where its limited season continues until 8 March 2009. Public booking opens tomorrow (Friday 26 September 2008).

Inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s 1955 Swedish film and written largely in waltz time, A Little Night Music concerns the tangled romantic lives of several couples in Sweden at the turn of the 20th century. The score includes the Grammy Award-winning ballad “Send in the Clowns”.

A Little Night Music premiered on Broadway in 1973, ahead of its 1975 West End premiere at the Adelphi Theatre. There have been two major revivals since: at the West End’s Piccadilly Theatre in 1989 and at the National Theatre in 1995. The cast for the latter included Patricia Hodge, Sian Phillips, Joanna Riding and Judi Dench, who won a Best Actress in a Musical Olivier for her performance.

The new production will be designed by David Farley, who won a hat trick of awards for the Chocolate Factory’s biggest hit to date: Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George which, after spending Christmas 2005 at the 150-seat Southwark venue, transferred to the West End, won five Oliviers and transferred for a Broadway run earlier this year. It’s choreographed by Lynne Page, with musical supervision by Caroline Humphris, orchestrations by Jason Carr and lighting by Hartley T A Kemp.

A Little Night Music will be Trevor Nunn’s first return to the London stage – and his Chocolate Factory debut - since his critically derided musical adaptation of Gone With the Wind, which premiered in April at the West End’s New London Theatre and closed in June after just 79 performances (See News, 31 May 2008). Earlier in the year, he directed Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage, after the Swedish director’s 1973 film of the same name, in Coventry, while his many other acclaimed credits include, most recently, Ian McKellen’s King Lear, The Seagull, Porgy and Bess and Rock ‘n’ Roll.

- by Terri Paddock