A chill is in the air! King Henry II and his family congregate for an even chillier Christmas celebration in James Goldman’s The Lion in Winter, playing Nov. 20 – 24 on the University Theatre stage at 8 pm nightly.
Set in the stark hollows of Castle Chinon in 1183, the dramatic tensions between members of King Henry II’s family take centre stage in this historic play. The company includes Henry’s quarreling and conniving sons, intent to claim the throne; his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, allowed a reprieve from her 10-year imprisonment to join the festivities; and Henry’s young mistress, Alias, who is also betrothed to his son Richard. As the party commences, the scandals of this dysfunctional dynasty explode, revealing shocking truths of betrayal, deceit and treachery.
“This is a very complex script that explores the dynamics and dysfunction of families throughout history,” says guest director Philip Adams. “It’s about power and land and the successors to that land. We, the audience, can marvel at the dexterity of the noble family.”
“Despite the lies and treachery of this dysfunctional family, there is still humour,” Adams adds. “Families are funny and this script exposes that humour in very clever ways.”
With a grand set, designed by Jim Wills, and period costumes designed by Leslie Robison-Greene, the production transports audiences to a medieval era of stone, wood, leather and furs. “The production is very well crafted, and it’s been a pleasure to be a part of this collaborative project,” says Adams, who won Saskatoon’s Best Director Award in 2012. A bit of a nomad, he was been the Artistic Director of Nakai Theatre in the Yukon and Mulgrave Road Theatre in Nova Scotia and directed productions across the country.
Tickets are available at the University Box Office, Monday – Friday 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm, or call (403) 329-2616. Individual tickets are $15 regular, $10 seniors/students. Regular tickets are also available online, www.uleth.ca/tickets.