The intimate Menier Chocolate Factory is a beautiful venue for this revival of Leonard Bernstein's joyful operetta. Dismissed by audiences and critics following its original premiere in 1956, Bernstein's musical interpretation of Voltaire's classic satire has since become regarded as one of his finest works.
The cast features Fra Fee and Scarlett Strallen, with James Dreyfus and comedienne Jackie Clunes injecting the production with just the right degree of wry sarcasm.
The young son of a baron, Candide lives a sheltered life until his mentor Dr. Pangloss introduces him to the concept of optimism. Believing Pangloss' statement that 'all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds,' Candide abandons his idyllic lifestyle and goes in search of what the wider world has to offer.
A fast-paced series of bizarre, funny and tragic episodes erode his optimism but give him a more realistic view of human affairs: 'we must cultivate our garden'. Bernstein's whirlwind musical romp features the classic songs Glitter and Be Gay and Make Our Garden Grow.