Menier Chocolate Factory
Time Out says
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There are theatres that punch about their weight and then there's the Menier Chocolate Factory, the 150-seat venue that regularly fires out transfers – particularly of musicals – to the West End, and enjoys a close relationship with the great Stephen Sondheim.
The programming tends to be a sweet, crowd-pleasing mix of musicals and lighthearted plays, plus the occasional revue show imported from New York, and even the odd comedian. Some of its biggest hits have included 2010 'The Cage Aux Folles' with Catharine Zeta-Jones, 2015's 'Funny Girl', starring Sheridan Smith, and 2018's Trevor Nunn-directed 'Fiddler on the Roof'.
Today, the Menier has a loyal fanbase and a knack for attracting legit (if well-seasoned) theatre names. But when the Menier's co-founders Danielle Tarento and David Babani first set up shop in 2004, they took the risk of opening their new theatre in a long-derelict former Menier chocolate factory in the then-unglamorous backstreets of Southwark. Their gambit paid off, at least partly because of the on-site restaurant which woos theatregoers with keenly priced dinner and theatre deals - shows start at 8pm to allow diners plenty of pre-show digestion time.
The Menier is now one of a small cluster of high-profile Bermondsey arts venues, with unrelated fringe theatre The Bunker taking up the underground space below it, and the Unicorn and Bridge theatres just down the road. Arrive early to appreciate its atmospheric underground bar, complete with a collection of relics found during the process of restoring the 1860s building it stands in.
53 Southwark St
|Transport:||Tube: London Bridge|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 10am-4pm|
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