The Suffield Players to present ‘The Lion in Winter’

By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
Suffield - posted Thu., Sep. 26, 2013
John, played by Christian Tarr, and Geoffrey, played by Nathan Rumney, discuss the idea of slaying their father, King Henry II, in ‘The Lion in Winter.’ Photos by Lisa Stone.
John, played by Christian Tarr, and Geoffrey, played by Nathan Rumney, discuss the idea of slaying their father, King Henry II, in ‘The Lion in Winter.’ Photos by Lisa Stone.

This year’s fall presentation by The Suffield Players will be “The Lion in Winter,” written by James Goldman and directed by Rayah Martin. The play will be performed at Mapleton Hall, located at 1305 Mapleton Ave., in Suffield, on Oct. 10, 11, 12, 18, 19, 20, 25 and 26.

The drama is “a theatrical portrait of Henry II of England, the devious, incorrigible Eleanor of Aquitaine, and their passionate struggle for power. [It is] a drama of Shakespearean fierceness, eloquence and emotional impact,” according to The Suffield Players organization.

“There are many twists and turns throughout the play,” said Martin. “It is a story of love triangles, fights for power and betrayal. The audience will not be disappointed. Our actors are extremely talented and the entire storyline is intriguing.”

The Suffield Players have received several awards from The Massachusetts Critics Circle. The play, “As You Like It,” won Best Play. Actor Robert Lunde won Best Actor for that same play, and Mary Fernandez-Sierra won Best Featured Actress in “Deathtrap.”

Lunde will be playing Henry II in “The Lion in Winter.”

“He is a fantastic actor,” said Martin. “The audience will love him. We have all been working very hard to put on the best show possible. This is truly a must-see.”

The play takes place in 1183. The premise of the story is Britain’s King, Henry II, has imprisoned his wife, Queen Eleanor, for 10 years because she led a revolt against her husband. King Henry II decides to take his wife out of prison for Christmas. This is her chance to stir their three sons, Richard, Geoffrey and John, and create chaos in the castle. Then there is a struggle for power. The King and Queen cannot agree on who is to take over the thrown once the King passes.  To add a mix of temptation, King Phillip of France has sent his sister, Alais, to live as Henry’s ward in the castle since she was 8 years old. This was a gesture of good will to seal the peace treaty between France and England.  When she became 15, the young girl caught Henry’s eye. Though Alais is promised to Henry’s oldest son, Richard, the King has other plans.

All performances begin at 8 p.m., with the exception of Oct. 20, due to an added matinee at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 on opening night and $17 for any other performances.  There are discounts for seniors, students, groups and season subscribers.

To purchase tickets, visit www.suffieldplayers.org or call 1-800-289-6148.


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