The Menier Chocolate Factory presents
THE BOY FRIEND
Book, Music and Lyrics by Sandy Wilson
Director: Matthew White; Choreographer & Associate Director: Bill Deamer
Designer: Paul Farnsworth; Lighting Designer: Paul Anderson; Sound Designer: Gregory Clarke
Hair & Wig Designer: Richard Mawbey; Musical Supervisor & Director: Simon Beck
Orchestrator: David Cullen
22 November 2019 – 7 March 2020
With The Watsons currently running at the Menier and Fiddler on the Roof at the Playhouse Theatre, the Menier Chocolate Factory today announces initial casting for their major revival of Sandy Wilson’s The Boy Friend running at the theatre over Christmas. Matthew White directs a cast including Jack Butterworth (Bobby van Husen), Janie Dee (Mme Dubonnet), Adrian Edmondson (Lord Brockhurst), Tiffany Graves (Hortense),Dylan Mason (Tony), Amara Okereke (Polly) and Issy van Randwyck (Lady Brockhurst). The production opens on 3 December, with previews from 22 November, and runs until 7 March 2020. Full casting will be announced shortly.
We plead to have/We need to have/In fact our poor hearts bleed to have/
That certain thing called ‘The Boy Friend’
Sandy Wilson’s all-singing all-dancing love letter to 1920s musical comedies returns for the first major London revival in over 10 years. Set in Madame Dubonnet’s finishing school in the south of France, these perfect young ladies burst into song at the least provocation, and forbidden boy friends are forever popping through the French windows to sing and dance with them. Since its premiere in 1953, this light-hearted soufflé of a show has delighted audiences worldwide and has become one of the most well-loved British musicals of all time.
The Boy Friend opened in London in 1953, before a West End run in 1954, and ran for more than 5 years. The subsequent Broadway run in 1954 made a star of the then-unknown Julie Andrews. Ken Russell adapted it into a 1971 film with Twiggy who won two Golden Globes for her performance.
Jack Butterworth plays Bobby van Husen. His theatre work includes Billy Elliot (UK tour), Cats (Blackpool Opera House and London Palladium), and Hamilton (Victoria Palace Theatre).
Janie Dee plays Mme Dubonnet. Her extensive stage work includes Follies (National Theatre), Pinter 4 – Moonlight/Night School (Pinter at the Pinter), Linda (Talent Works NY), Hand to God (Vaudeville Theatre), The Seagull (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Ah Wilderness (Young Vic), Blithe Spirit (Gielgud Theatre), Putting It Together (St James Theatre), Hello Dolly! (Curve, Leicester), NSFW (Royal Court Theatre), All’s Well That Ends Well (Shakespeare’s Globe), A Month in the County (Chichester Festival Theatre), Calendar Girls (Noel Coward Theatre), Woman in Mind (Stephen Joseph Theatre), Shadowlands (Wyndham’s Theatre), Mack and Mabel(Watermill Theatre national tour and West End), Donkey’s Years (Comedy Theatre), Divas at the Donmar – one woman show, Comic Potential (Lyric Theatre and Broadway – Olivier, Critics’ Circle and Evening Standard Award for Best Actress), Paradise Moscow (Opera North) and Carousel (National Theatre – Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical). For Theatre Royal Bath, her many credits include Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, The Apple Cart, Old Times (also national tour), Much Ado About Nothing, Betrayal (also West End) and Design for Living. For television, her work includes Chimerica, Crashing, Doctor Who, Harold Pinter: A Celebration, The Murder Room, Death in Holy Orders, House of Cards, The Live Show, Heartbeat, Little White Lies, Spy Watch, and Love Hurts; and for film, Official Secrets, Me and Orson Welles, Celebration and Virtuoso.
Adrian Edmondson plays Lord Brockhurst. His theatre credits include Twelfth Night (RSC), Vulcan 7 (Theatre Royal Bath), Bits of Me are Falling Apart (Soho Theatre) and Neville’s Island (Duke of York’s Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre). For television, his work includes Retribution, The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff, EastEnders – as series regular Daniel Cook, Summer of Rockets, Cheat, Urban Myths, Upstart Crow, Save Me, Bancroft, Genius, One of Us, War and Peace, Prey, Miss Austen Regrets, Chernobyl, Holby City – as Percival “Abra” Durant, Jonathan Creek, Bottom, Blackadder and The Young Ones; and for film, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Eat The Rich, The Rizen, Interlude in Prague, Blood, Guest House Paradiso and The Pope Must Die.
Tiffany Graves returns to the Menier Chocolate Factory to play Hortense – she previously appeared in Sweet Charity (also Theatre Royal Haymarket). Her other theatre credits include The Astonishing Return of The Protagonists, The Wild Party, Miss Madelaine True (The Other Palace), Love On The Link (Salisbury Playhouse), Meow Meow: Apocalypse Meow (Shakespeare’s Globe), Mack & Mabel in Concert (Hackney Empire), Kiss Me Kate (Opera North), The Producers, We Will Rock You (UK tours), Dick Whittington and His Cat (Lyric Hammersmith), The Witches of Eastwick (The Watermill Theatre), Piaf (Curve, Leicester), Wonderful Town(Royal Exchange Manchester) and Chicago (Cambridge Theatre).
Dylan Mason plays Tony. His theatre work includes The Mikvah Project (Orange Tree Theatre), Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Palace Theatre), 42nd Street (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus(Finborough Theatre), The Wind in the Willows (UK tour), wonder.land (Théâtre du Châtelet, National Theatre),Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) and Anything Goes (Sheffield Theatres and UK tour).
Amara Okereke plays Polly. She graduated from Arts Educational Schools in 2018. Her theatre credits includeOklahoma! (Chichester Festival Theatre), Les Miserables (Queen’s Theatre – The Stage Debut Award for Best Actress in a Musical), and 13 The Musical (Apollo Theatre).
Issy van Randwyck plays Lady Brockhurst. Her theatre work include Rough Crossing (UK tour), Anything That Flies, Closer Than Ever (Jermyn Street Theatre), The Go Between (Apollo Theatre), A Further Education, Raving(Hampstead Theatre), The American Clock (Finborough Theatre), Dirty Dancing (Aldwych Theatre), Once in a Lifetime (National Theatre), Calico (Duke of York’s Theatre), Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre). She received Olivier nominations for her roles in Fascinating Aida and Kiss Me Kate. For television, her work includes Action Team, Partners in Crime, Downton Abbey, Christopher and His Kind, Spooks, Kingdom and Trial and Retribution; and for film, The Hippopotamus, The Danish Girl, Splinterand First Impressions.
Matthew White returns to the Menier – he previously directed She Loves Me, 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 The Addams Family (Festival Theatre, Edinburgh and UK tour), Kiss Me Kate, 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).
Listings Information The Boy Friend
Menier Chocolate Factory
53 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1RU
Dates: 22 November 2019 – 7 March 2020
For the performance schedule, please see the website
Box Office: 020 7378 1713 (£2.50 transaction fee per booking)
Website: www.menierchocolatefactory.com (£1.50 transaction fee per booking)
Tickets: Prices vary, as below from discounted preview tickets to premier seats. With the emphasis on ‘the sooner you book, the better the price’:
A meal deal ticket includes a 2-course meal from the pre-theatre menu in the Menier Restaurant as well as the theatre ticket.