The Menier Chocolate Factory has announced that Scarlett Strallen (Amalia Balash) will be joined by Alastair Brookshaw (Ladislav Sipos), Les Dennis (Mr Maraczek), Callum Howells (Arpad Laszlo), Katherine Kingsley (Ilona Ritter), Dominic Tighe (Steven Kodaly) and Mark Umbers (Georg Nowack), with Rachel Bingham, Peter Dukes, Luke Fetherston, Olivia Fines, Aimee Hodnett, Sarah-Marie Maxwell and Vincent Pirillo for the company’s major revival of She Loves Me this Christmas. The production reunites Strallen with director Matthew White, following their previous collaboration at the Menier on Candide. The production opens on 7 December, with previews from 25 November, and runs until 5 March 2017.
Meet Amalia and Georg, who work as clerks in Maraczek’s Parfumerie – and aren’t exactly the best of friends. However, they have something in common. They both rapturously write to romantic pen pals. Despite the anonymity of their secret admirers, they live for the love letters that they exchange and the day they will finally meet. This enduring love story has been the basis for the films The Shop around the Corner and You’ve Got Mail. The musical version – written by the authors of Fiddler on the Roof – has delighted audiences since its 1963 Broadway premier and features a sparkling score that includes now-classic songs Ice Cream and A Trip to the Library.
Alastair Brookshaw plays Ladislav Sipos. His theatre work includes Sweeney Todd (ENO), The Grand Tour, Bed and Sofa (Finborough Theatre), Parade (Southwark Playhouse), Shoes (Sadler’s Wells), Blood Brothers (Phoenix Theatre) and The Winter’s Tale (Landor Theatre); and for film, King B**tard.
Les Dennis plays Mr Maraczek. His theatre work includes Down the Dock Road (Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool), The Perfect Murder, Spamalot, Hairspray, Eurobeat, Art (national tour), When We Are Married (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Neville’s Island (Birmingham Rep), South Pacific (Birmingham Symphony Orchestra) and Chicago and Me and My Girl (Adelphi Theatre). For television his acting work includes Coronation Street (as series regular Michael Rodwell), New Street Law, Extras, The Quest and Happy Birthday Mr Shakespeare; as a presenter his work includes Family Fortunes; and his comedy work includes The Les Dennis Laughter Show. For film, his work includes Large and Intimate Relations.
Callum Howells plays Arpad Laszlo. His theatre credits include Oliver! (national tour), Prodigy (St James Theatre), Of Mice and Men (schools tour of Wales), Brass (NYMT at Hackney Empire), Blackout (National Theatre Connections at the National Theatre and Welsh tour), and Lord of the Flies (Wales Millennium Centre).His television work incudes Show Me What You’re Made Of and as Royal Correspondent for Blue Peter. He has been a member of the choir Only Boys Aloud for 5 years and is also a member of Loud Applause Rising Stars.
Katherine Kingsley returns to the Menier to play Ilona Ritter – she previously appeared in Aspects of Love. Her other theatre work includes Welcome Home Captain Fox, The 25th Annual Putnum County Spelling Bee, Company for Sondheim’s 80th Celebration and Piaf – Olivier Award nomination (Donmar Warehouse), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Olivier Award nomination, Noel Coward Theatre); for Chichester Festival Theatre, The Rehearsal, Singin’ in the Rain (Oliver Award nomination, also Palace Theatre) and Hobson’s Choice; Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Savoy Theatre) and High Society (Shaftesbury Theatre). Her television credits include Endeavour, Decline and Fall, Black Mirror, The Secret, Uncle and Bad Education; and for film, Genius, Weekend, Days Of The Siren and 100 Second Marriage.
Scarlett Strallen returns to the Menier to play Amalia – she previously appeared as Cunegonde in Candide for the company. Her other theatre work includes The Pirates of Penzance (Barrington Stage Company), A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (Walter Kerr Theater, Broadway), Macbeth (Park Avenue Armory, New York), A Chorus Line (London Palladium), Singin’ in the Rain (Chichester Festival Theatre and Palace Theatre), Passion (Donmar Warehouse), Mary Poppins (New Amsterdam Theatre, Broadway and Prince Edward Theatre), The Music Man (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Merry Wives of Windsor (RSC), HMS Pinafore and Twelfth Night (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Palladium), Peggy Sue Got Married (Shaftesbury Theatre), The Witches of Eastwick (Drury Lane), Mamma Mia! (Prince Edward Theatre) and Aspects of Love (Prince of Wales Theatre). For television, her work includes No Sweat; and for film, Beyond the Sea and The Snow Queen.
Dominic Tighe plays Steven Kodaly. He previously appeared at the Menier in Charley’s Aunt and Aspects of Love. His other theatre work includes The Threepenny Opera (National Theatre), Sunny Afternoon (Hampstead Theatre/West End), The Fairy Queen (Glyndebourne), Richard III and The Comedy of Errors (Hampstead Theatre/Propeller), Twelfth Night (The Old Vic/Propeller), The Taming of the Shrew (RSC/Propeller, Commendation at the Ian Charleson Award) and The Importance of Being Ernest (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park). For television, his work includes The Comic Strip Presents…Red Top, The Honourable Woman and Call The Midwife; and for film, Nothing and Everywhere; The Donor and Remember. He won ‘Album of the Year’ at the Classical BRIT Awards 2008 for debut album, Blake.
Mark Umbers returns to the Menier to play Georg Nowack. His previous work for the company is Merrily We Roll Along (also Harold Pinter Theatre) and Sweet Charity (also Theatre Royal Haymarket). His work for Chichester Festival Theatre includes The Browning Version (also Harold Pinter Theatre) and Funny Girl; The Glass Menagerie (Apollo Theatre), The Pirates of Penzance (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); and The Vortex (Donmar Warehouse); and for the National Theatre, Troilus and Cressida, The Merchant of Venice, Candide and My Fair Lady. His television work includes Home Fires, Eternal Law, Mistresses, The Turn of the Screw, Princes in the Tower, Harley Street, Blackbeard, The Merchant of Venice, Berkeley Square, Silent Witness, The Scarlet Pimpernel and The Student Prince; and for film, A Good Woman, Che (Part Two), These Foolish Things, Cassandra’s Dream, Color Me Kubrick and Love Is The Devil.
Matthew White returns to the Menier – he previously directed Candide, Sweet Charity (also Haymarket Theatre), Little Shop of Horrors (also Duke of York’s Theatre), and The Last Five Years for the company. His other theatre work includes West Side Story (Kilworth House), The Producers (UK tour), Top Hat (also adapted for the stage, UK tour and Aldwych Theatre – Olivier Award for Best New Musical), Maria Friedman – By Special Arrangement (Donmar Warehouse), Closer than Ever (Jermyn Street Theatre), and Mr Stink (also adapted, Curve and UK tour).
She Loves Me opens on 7 December, with previews from 25 November, and runs until 5 March 2017. If you would like any further information, you can visit the website https://www.menierchocolatefactory.com/Online/default.asp