With She Loves Me currently running at its home base, Travesties and David Baddiel: My Family Not the Sitcom taking up residence in the West End, and Funny Girl in rehearsals ahead of a major national tour, the Menier Chocolate Factory today announces full casting for their major new revival of Terence Rattigan’s Love in Idleness. Trevor Nunn directs Eve Best (Olivia Brown), Edward Bluemel (Michael Brown), Helen George (Diana Fletcher), Anthony Head (Sir John Fletcher), Vivienne Rochester (Miss Dell) and Helen Sloane (Polton/Celia Wentworth). The production opens on 20th March, with previews from 9th March, and is running until 29th April.
Returning from Canada after a four-year absence during the war, eighteen-year-old Michael is full of youthful ideology and leftist leanings. But he is shocked to find his widowed mother Olivia is now the mistress of cabinet minister Sir John Fletcher, enjoying a comfortable society life. When Michael and John clash, sparks fly and relationships are tested as everyone learns some difficult lessons in love.
This new production sees Nunn return to Rattigan, following the huge success of Flare Path, with another of the playwright’s trio of ‘war plays’, which also includes While the Sun Shines.
Nunn will follow Love and Idleness with Lettice and Lovage opening on 17th May, with previews from 4 May, and completing its run on 8th July.
Terence Rattigan’s (1911– 1977) major works include The Deep Blue Sea, The Browning Version, Separate Tables, French without Tears and The Winslow Boy.
Eve Best is playing Olivia Brown. Her theatre credits in London include Hedda Gabler (Almeida Theatre / Duke of York’s – Olivier Award for Best Actress, Evening Standard Award for Best Actress),
Antony and Cleopatra, Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth (Shakespeare’s Globe),The Duchess of Malfi, A Moon for the Misbegotten (The Old Vic), As You Like It (RSC/Sheffield Crucible), Le Misanthrope (Chichester Minerva), Mourning Becomes Electra (Critics’ Circle Award for Best Actress), The Coast of Utopia, Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard and The Heiress (all National Theatre), and ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore(Young Vic – London Evening Standard Award and Critics’ Circle Award for Best Newcomer). Her theatre work on Broadway includes Harold Pinter’s Old Times and The Homecoming (Tony Award nomination for Best Actress) and A Moon for the Misbegotten (Tony Award nomination for Best Actress, Drama Desk and Outer Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Actress). For television, her work includes Lucky Man, Nurse Jackie, The Honourable Woman, Life in Squares, The Shadow Line, Shackleton and Prime Suspect; and for film, The King’s Speech. She made her directorial debut with Macbeth at Shakespeare’s Globe in 2013. This is her third collaboration with Trevor Nunn following The Cherry Orchard and The Coast of Utopia.
Edward Bluemel plays Michael Brown. His theatre credits include Animal, Longing, Strange Orchestra, The Winter’s Tale (Richard Burton Theatre Company), Mercury Fur (Company of Sirens). His television credits include The Halcyon. His film credits include The Commuter, Access All Areas.
Helen George plays Diana Fletcher. Her theatre includes After Miss Julie (Theatre Royal Bath and UK tour), The Hotel Plays: The Pink Bedroom (Defibrillator Theatre), A Christmas Fair, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Milton Rooms), By Jeeves (Landor Theatre), The Woman in White (Palace Theatre) and Company. For television, her work includes Call the Midwife, Red Dwarf, Over to Bill, Dark Matters, Hotel Babylon II, Gatecrasher Summer Sound System; and for film, Scar Tissue, The Child, The Three Musketeers, 7Lives.
Anthony Head plays Sir John Fletcher. His theatre includes Ticking (Trafalgar Studios), Six Degrees of Separation (The Old Vic), The Tempest (New Huntington Theatre), Otherwise Engaged (Criterion) Peter Pan, Pirates of Penzance (Savoy Theatre), The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Duke of York’s), Rope (Wyndham’s), Chess (Prince Edward), Yonadab, The Prince of Homburg (National Theatre) and Patriot for Me (Chichester Festival). For television his work include Still Star-Crossed, Guilt, Drunk History, Harmony, Dominion, Galavant, The Selection, Warehouse 13, Dancing on the Edge, Free Agents, Sold, The Invisibles, Sensitive Skin, Dr Who, Persuasion, Hotel Babylon, Rose and Maloney, My Family, Monarch of the Glen, MIT, New Tricks, Little Britain, Reversals, Manchild, Spooks, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Love in a Cold Climate; and for film, A Street Cat Named Bob, Despite the Falling Snow, Flying Home, Convenience, Percy Jackson: The Sea of Monsters, Ghost Rider – Spirit of Vengeance, The Iron Lady, The Great Ghost Rescue, Repo! The Genetic Opera, Sweeny Todd and The Tourist.
Vivienne Rochester plays Miss Dell. Her theatre work includes The Magna Carta Plays (Salisbury Playhouse), Singing Stones (Arcola Theatre), The Women’s Spring (The Roundhouse), Twelfth Night (Leicester Haymarket, Belgrade Coventry), Tamburlaine (British Council Tour), Hobson’s Choice (Birmingham Rep), Electra (Shaw Theatre), Sir Thomas Moore (Shaw Theatre), Restoration, Macbeth, The Balcony, Kissing the Pope and The Rover (Royal Shakespeare Company), and A Mouthful of Birds (Royal Court, Birmingham Rep). For television Little White Lies, Men of the Month and Window of Vulnerability.
Helen Sloane returns to the Menier Chocolate Factory to play Polton/Celia Wentworth – she previously appeared in A Little Night Music (also West End). Her other theatre credits include London Road, 50th Anniversary Gala, Anything Goes and Love’s Labour’s Lost (National Theatre), Flowers for Mrs Harris, My Fair Lady and Me and My Girl (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield), Two Cities (Salisbury Playhouse), Enter the Guardsman (Donmar Warehouse), Strife, Way Upstream, The Gondoliers and The Waterbabies (Chichester Festival Theatre), To Kill a Mockingbird (Royal Exchange Manchester), and The Sound of Music, Acorn Antiques, Spend Spend Spend, Martin Guerre, Les Miserables and The Woman in Black (West End). For television, her work includes Maigret, Black Mirror, Home Fires, Call the Midwife, Parade’s End, Dancing on the Edge and Home Again; and for film, The Danish Girl, The Tale of Tales, London Road, Mr Turner, The Theory of Everything, Les Miserables, Broken and Season of the Witch.
From 1968 to 1986, Trevor Nunn was the youngest ever Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, directing over thirty productions, including most of the Shakespeare canon, as well as Nicholas Nickleby and Les Misérables. From 1997 to 2003, he was Artistic Director of the National Theatre, where his productions included Troilus and Cressida, Oklahoma!, The Merchant of Venice, Summerfolk, My Fair Lady, A Streetcar Named Desire, Anything Goes and Love’s Labour’s Lost. He has directed the world premières of Tom Stoppard’s plays Arcadia, The Coast of Utopia and Rock n Roll; and of Cats, Sunset Boulevard, Starlight Express and Aspects of Love by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Other theatre includes Timon of Athens, Skellig (Young Vic); The Lady From The Sea (Almeida Theatre); Hamlet, Richard II, Inherit the Wind (The Old Vic), A Little Night Music (Menier Chocolate Factory, West End and Broadway), Cyrano de Bergerac, Kiss Me Kate (Chichester Festival Theatre); Heartbreak House, Flare Path, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, The Tempest (Theatre Royal, Haymarket); Scenes from a Marriage (Coventry & St James), All That Fall (Jermyn Street & New York); A Chorus of Disapproval and Relative Values (West End). Work for television includes Antony and Cleopatra, The Comedy of Errors, Macbeth, Three Sisters, Othello, The Merchant of Venice and King Lear, and on film, Hedda, Lady Jane and Twelfth Night.
Designs are by Stephen Brimson-Lewis; with lighting design by Paul Pyant; sound design by Gregory Clarke, and projections by Duncan McLean.
Menier Chocolate Factory
53 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1RU
Terence Rattigan’s LOVE IN IDLENESS
9th March – 29 April
Press night: 20th March