Menier Chocolate Factory

The Menier Chocolate Factory is a 180-seat off-West End theatre, which comprises a restaurant, bar and rehearsal rooms.

Menier Chocolate Factory
Exterior of the theatre
AddressSouthwark Street
London, SE1
England, United Kingdom
Coordinates51.5051°N 0.0972°W / 51.5051; -0.0972
Public transit London Bridge
TypeFringe theatre
Opened2004 (2004)

It is located in a former 1870s Menier Chocolate Company factory in Southwark Street, a major street in the London Borough of Southwark, central south London, England, some 2.5 km from the theatrical West End. The theatre stages plays and musicals, live music and stand-up comedy. According to the Evening Standard, it is "one of the most dynamic fringe venues in London".[1]

History and awards

The French company Menier Chocolate Company expanded overseas and built a five-storey factory and warehouse of brick with stone dressings in London between 1865 and 1874. It was listed Grade II in 1996.[2]

The Menier Chocolate Factory was opened in 2004 in its current incarnation, the building having been derelict since the 1980s. It is run by artistic director David Babani.[3] In 2005, the theatre received the Peter Brook/Empty Space Up and Coming Venue Award. In the same year, he and co-founder Danielle Tarento jointly won the Evening Standard Milton Shulman Award for Outstanding Newcomer. Tarento left in 2006 to pursue a solo producing career, and was replaced by General Manager Thomas Siracusa.

In 2007 the Chocolate Factory production of the Stephen Sondheim musical Sunday in the Park with George won five Olivier Awards, including Best Actor in a Musical for Daniel Evans and Best Actress in a Musical for Jenna Russell. The pair went on to perform the lead roles when the production transferred to Studio 54 on Broadway in February 2008.

In the 2009 Olivier Awards, Douglas Hodge won the trophy for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of drag queen Zaza in La Cage aux Folles. The production also won the Best Musical Revival category.

In 2010, the Chocolate Factory productions of A Little Night Music and La Cage aux Folles opened on Broadway, the former starring Catherine Zeta Jones and Angela Lansbury and the latter starring Douglas Hodge (from the original London production) and Kelsey Grammer. At the Tony Awards 2010 the shows won in the following categories: Best Leading Actress in a Musical  – Catherine Zeta Jones for A Little Night Music; Best Leading Actor in a Musical – Douglas Hodge for La Cage aux Folles; Best Director of a Musical – Terry Johnson for La Cage aux Folles; Best Musical Revival La Cage aux Folles.

The theatre continues to produce a mixture of musical and play revivals, new writing and comedy.


















  1. Menier Chocolate Factory – Restaurant Reviews Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  2. Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1385925)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  3. "Interview with David Babani, ''British Theatre Guide'', 2007". Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  4. Reviews – Sunday in the Park with George (Menier Chocolate Factory), British Theatre Guide, 2005.
  5. Jane Shilling (13 June 2012). "David Bedella tackles the role of Arnold Beckoff with sparkling conviction". The Telegraph.
  6. Michael Billington (28 November 2012). "A superb production by Maria Friedman". The Guardian.
  7. "Gale has Menier Proof". 29 January 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  8. Charles Spencer (9 May 2013). "high-definition acting at its most enjoyable". The Telegraph.
  9. Robert McCrum (21 July 2013). "The Color Purple is a feelgood show for a hot summer's night". The Observer.
  10. Dominic Cavendish (27 September 2013). "This horribly amusing Broadway import is laced with a surprising softness". The Telegraph.
  11. Michael Billington (2 December 2013). "a restless, comic-strip production that has a jaunty ebullience and two outstanding leads". The Guardian.
  12. Charles Spencer (19 March 2014). "If you enjoy farce, you will have a ball at this revival of Ray Cooney's play about lies and assumed identities in a Westminster hotel". The Telegraph.
  13. Jane Shilling (5 June 2014). "Broadway composer Andrew Lippa offers up a tantalising taster menu of his work that is sexy and sophisticated". The Telegraph.
  14. Jane Shilling (6 July 2014). "you'll weep with laughter". The Telegraph.
  15. Paul Taylor (11 September 2014). "A brilliantly funny tour de force". The Independent.
  16. Dominic Cavendish (2 December 2014). "Darkly Entertaining". Daily Telegraph.
  17. Dominic Cavendish (20 March 2015). "The jokes also on us". Daily Telegraph.
  18. Ben Lawrence (14 May 2015). "Frenetically funny". Daily Telegraph.
  19. Paul Taylor (17 July 2015). "An utterly delightful show". The Independent.
  20. Paul Taylor (23 September 2015). "I'm still aching from the laughter". The Independent.
  21. Dominic Cavendish (3 December 2015). "Sheridan Smith pulls off the impossible". Daily Telegraph.
  22. Kate Kellaway (20 March 2016). "A devious must-see". The Observer.
  23. Kate Kellaway (17 July 2016). "Bittersweet Sondheim with a homemade look". The Observer.
  24. Bamigboye, B (17 June 2016). "BAZ BAMIGBOYE: It's Royal Spice! Dame Judi is back as Queen Victoria in new film about monarch's friendship with young Indian". After Le Carre, it's a Stoppard revival for Rev's Tom. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  25. Susannah Clapp (11 December 2016). "The Sweet Smell of Success". The Guardian.
  26. Paul Taylor (23 March 2017). "It brilliantly synthesises the two versions that exist of a play by Terence Rattigan". The Independent.
  27. Ian Shuttleworth (18 May 2017). "Maureen Lipman and Felicity Kendal excel". Financial Times.
  28. "Menier Chocolate Factory to stage new production of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole musical". Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  29. "Florian Zeller's The Lie to receive English language world premiere at Menier Chocolate Factory". Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  30. "Menier Chocolate Factory to revive Barnum". The Stage. 21 August 2017. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  31. "Declan Bennett and Samuel Barnett cast in Kiss of the Spider Woman". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  32. "Laura Pitt-Pulford and John Gordon Sinclair to star in The Grönholm Method". Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  33. "Spamilton at Menier Chocolate Factory casting announced". Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  34. "Hugh Whitemore's Pack of Lies revived at the Menier Chocolate Factory". Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  35. "Menier Chocolate Factory to stage Fiddler on the Roof this Christmas". Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  36. "Penelope Wilton and Ophelia Lovibond confirmed for David Hare's The Bay at Nice at Menier Chocolate Factory | WhatsOnStage". Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  37. "Theatr Clwyd announces 2019 season and Menier Chocolate Factory co-production | WhatsOnStage". Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  38. "Cast joining Jenna Russell in The Bridges of Madison County announced | WhatsOnStage". Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  39. "The Watsons to transfer to the Menier Chocolate Factory | WhatsOnStage". Retrieved 26 June 2019.
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