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More Sondheim & My Girl at Chocolate Factory???

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Though the previously planned transfer of the 70th anniversary touring production of Me and My Girl never materialised (See The Goss, 6 Nov 2006), perhaps the Menier Chocolate Factory will have more luck bringing the quintessentially English 1937 musical comedy back to the West End.

We hear the theatre is planning to revive My and My Girl, under the direction of Matthew White, at its 150-seat Southwark home base this Christmas, which would certainly put it in good stead. All four of the Chocolate Factory’s last Christmas musicals have transferred - Sunday in the Park with George, Little Shop of Horrors (helmed by White), La Cage aux Folles and, just this month, A Little Night Music.

In Me and My Girl, cockney charmer Bill Snibson discover he’s heir to a fortune. But would he rather have a life of luxury than live happily ever after with his girl Sally? In 1985 Robert Lindsay and Emma Thompson famously played the couple in a revival at the West End’s Adelphi Theatre. Lindsay won an Olivier and a Tony, while the production played for more than eight years in London and three years on Broadway.

Me and My Girl has music by Noel Gay and lyrics by L Arthur Rose and Douglas Furber who also jointly wrote the book, which was revised in the Eighties by actor-writer-comedian Stephen Fry with contributions by Mike Ockrent.

And the Chocolate Factory is unlikely to leave it there on the upcoming musical front. After such huge success with Sunday in the Park with George and A Little Night Music, also in the frame is another Stephen Sondheim revival: Company. The 1970 musical, which has a book by George Furth, centres on Bobby, a soon-to-be 35-year-old single man with commitment issues, and his best friends, who are five married couples.


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