Maria Friedman is to return to the Menier Chocolate Factory to appear in The Invisible Man, Ian Talbot’s music hall-style production of HG Wells’s classic tale of mysterious happenings in a rural village.
Friedman, whose last appearance at the Chocolate Factory, in solo show Maria Friedman: Rearranged, earned her a Laurence Olivier Award-nomination, is joined in The Invisible Man by a cast that also includes Natalie Casey, Gary Wilmot, John Gordon Sinclair and Jo Stone-Fewings.
Well known for her musical performances, Friedman’s long career has seen her pick up three Laurence Olivier Awards and numerous award nominations. She was most recently seen in The King And I at the Royal Albert Hall and has West End credits including The Woman In White, Ragtime, Chicago, The Witches Of Eastwick and Merrily We Roll Along.
Familiar to TV viewers for her roles in soap Hollyoaks and sitcom Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps, Casey has London stage credits including the musical Fame and two-handed comedy Well.
After starring in Me And My Girl at the Adelphi theatre in 1989, former children’s television presenter Wilmot has carved out a successful stage career that includes London productions of Carmen Jones, Copacabana, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, HMS Pinafore and The Pirates Of Penzance.
Sinclair and Stone-Fewings are both regulars on the London stage. Sinclair, who is well known for the 1981 film Gregory’s Girl, was recently seen in Absurd Person Singular at the Garrick theatre and previously The Producers at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane; Stone-Fewings played Hannay in The 39 Steps and appeared last year in Dancing At Lughnasa at the Old Vic.
Adapted by Ken Hill from HG Wells’s novel, The Invisible Man is retold by director Ian Talbot in a comedy music hall style, with magical effects by illusionist Paul Kieve. The setting is the rustic village of Iping, whose inhabitants recount the mysterious events surrounding the appearance of the sinister Griffin, who arrives wrapped in bandages and with a distinctly unsociable manner.
The cast also includes Geraldine Fitzgerald (Mamma Mia!), Michael Beckley (Cabaret), Teddy Kempner (Never Forget, Pacific Overtures), Gerard Carey and Christopher Godwin.
The Invisible Man opens to the press on 24 November (previews from 13 November), and follows Caryl Churchill’s A Number on the Menier stage.