Ill health has forced Tony Slattery to withdraw at the last minute from the national tour of William Nicholson’s Shadowlands. Veteran character actor, Denis Lill, is stepping into the role of Warnie and joined rehearsals this week.
The new production, a revival directed by Alastair Whatley, opens next Thursday at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre. Producers, Jon and Anne-Marie Woodley of Birdsong Productions, said of the news: “We are very sorry that Tony has had to leave and, along with all the company of Shadowlands, we send our love and best wishes.
“We are delighted that Denis has so kindly agreed to step in at such short notice to take on the role of Warnie. Having both previously worked with Denis, we know he will be a lovely addition to the talented cast and crew.”
The cast of Shadowlands will be led by Stephen Boxer (Humans, The Iron Lady, Garrow’s Law, Doctors) as C.S. Lewis and Amanda Ryan (The Forsyte Saga, Shameless) as Joy Davidman, along with Denis Lill (The Royal, Only Fools and Horses, Rumpole of the Bailey) as Major W.H. Lewis ‘Warnie’.
They will be joined by Simon Shackleton, Jeffrey Harmer, Ian Marr, Richard Holliday and Shannon Rewcroft with Holly Smith and Alistair Higgins playing multiple supporting roles.
Shadowlands tells the love story of C.S. Lewis, Oxford don and author of The Chronicles of Narnia and The Screwtape Letters, and American poet Joy Davidman.
What begins as a formal meeting of two very different minds slowly develops into a feeling of connection and love. Lewis finds his quiet life with his brother Warnie disrupted by the outspoken, feisty Davidman, whose uninhibited behaviour offers a sharp contrast to the rigid sensibilities of the male-dominated university.
Each provides the other with new ways of viewing the world, but Lewis’s Christian faith is tested when Joy is diagnosed with cancer.
2016 TOUR SCHEDULE
February 18–27, Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford
February 29–March 5, Salisbury Playhouse
March 7–12, Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne
March 14-19, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich
March 29-April 2, Theatre Royal Windsor
April 4-9, Ashcroft Theatre, Croydon
April 11–16, Festival Theatre, Malvern
April 19–23, Connaught Theatre, Worthing
April 26-30, CAST Theatre, Doncaster
May 16–21, Pomegranate Theatre, Chesterfield
May 31-June 4, Birmingham Repertory Theatre
June 13-18,New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth
June 21–25, New Theatre, Cardiff
June 28-July 2, Exeter Northcott Theatre
July 25-30, Richmond Theatre.