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Chocolate Factory Gets Tragic With Webster\'s Devil

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As previously tipped (See The Goss, 15 Jul 2008), the high-flying Menier Chocolate Factory in Southwark, south London, will have a distinctly non-musical interlude this autumn with a new production of John Webster’s bloody 1612 play The White Devil, which will run from 8 October to 15 November 2008 (previews from 3 October).

In the Jacobean revenge tragedy, based on a real-life story, the Duke of Brachiano’s adulterous affair with Vittoria, the daughter of a noble but poor family, scandalises the court and sparks off a series of murders, attacks and counter-attacks. Webster also authored The Duchess of Malfi.

At the Menier, Claire Price (Don Carlos, Brand, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Tempest) will star as Vittoria, opposite Darrell D\'Silva (The Royal Hunt of the Sun, Doctor Faustus, The Rose Tattoo, Hecuba) as Brachiano, with Aidan McArdle (Richard III, There Came a Gypsy Riding, A Prayer for Owen Meaney on stage, The Duchess, Not Only But Always on screen) as Flamenio.

The cast also includes Ross Armstrong, Dylan Charles, Claire Cox, John Dougall, Christopher Godwin, Louis Hilyer, Golda Rosheuvel, Nitzan Sharron and Sandra Voe.

The White Devil is directed by Jonathan Munby, whose recent credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Globe, The Anniversary in the West End and Henry V at Manchester’s Royal Exchange. The production is designed by Philip Witcomb, with lighting by Hartley TA Kemp, movement by Georgina Lamb, and musical direction by Dominic Haslam.

Currently at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Fiona Laird’s revival of Neil Simon’s They\'re Playing Our Song, starring Connie Fisher and Alistair McGowan, finishes its limited season on 28 September (See Review Round-up, 5 Aug 2008). And after the bloodletting with The White Devil, the venue will return to musical form over the Christmas season with Trevor Nunn’s still-to-be-announced production of Stephen Sondheim’s 1973 Broadway musical A Little Night Music, based on Ingmar Bergman’s 1955 Swedish film (See The Goss, 30 Apr 2008).

Meanwhile, the Menier’s musical revival from last Christmas, Terry Johnson’s production Jerry Herman’s 1983 Broadway comedy La Cage Aux Folles, transfers to the West End next month, opening on 30 October 2008 (previews from 20 October) at the Playhouse Theatre (See News, 29 Aug 2008).

- by Terri Paddock


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