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Cast including Scarlett Strallen and Fra Fee announced for Menier's Christmas Candide

Scarlett Strallen, Fra Fee and Cassidy Janson will star in the Menier Chocolate Factory's upcoming production of Bernstein's ''Candide'' this Christmas

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Scarlett Strallen
Dan Wooller

Casting has been announced for the Menier Chocolate Factory's upcoming production of Candide, which runs from 2 December 2013 to 22 February 2014 (previews from 22 November) with Fra Fee taking the title role and others stars including Scarlett Strallen, Cassidy Janson, Ben Lewis and David Thaxton.

Fra Fee, who plays Candide, has theatre credits including Les Miserables (Queen's), A Man of No Importance (Salisbury Playhouse) and Dirty Dancing (Aldwych). He played Courfeyrac in the film version of Les Miserables.

Scarlett Strallen, who will play Cunegonde, was most recently seen in A Chorus Line at the London Palladium playing Cassie. Her other stage credits include Singin' In the Rain (Chichester/Palace), Passion (Donmar) and Mary Poppins (West End/Broadway).

David Thaxton will play Maximilian. His theatre credits include Passion (Donmar), Love Never Dies (Adelphi) and Les Miserables (Queen's).

Cassidy Janson will play Paquette. Her theatre credits include Lend Me A Tenor - The Musical (Gielgud), Avenue Q (Gielgud) and Wicked (Apollo Victoria). Ben Lewis, who will play the Governor and Vanderdendur, has theatre credits including Love Never Dies, A Little Night Music and Spamalot (Australia).

Directed by Matthew White, Candide tells the story of a young man determined to follow his instructor's creed of mindless optimism. Even after being banished from his homeland, captured by Bulgarians, beaten by the Spanish Inquisition, robbed of everything he owns, and torn repeatedly from the woman he loves, Candide still clings to the Panglossian belief that everything is for the best in this, "the best of all possible worlds".

The cast also includes Carly Anderson, Jeremy Batt, Christopher Jacobsen, Frankie Jenna, Rachel Spurrell, Helen Walsh and Matt Wilman. Further casting will be announced shortly.