Joanna Lumley Set to Appear in The Lion In Winter
Sir Trevor Nunn to Direct the Production in a London theatre at an Unknown Date
The latest familiar face to join a West End stage production could be Joanna Lumley, if plans go ahead to bring “The Lion in Winter” to a London theatre under the direction of Sir Trevor Nunn, according to the Telegraph. The production would mark the latest appearance for the “Absolutely Fabulous” actress in the capital following 2010’s “La Bȇte” at the Comedy Theatre, which also featured the star of television’s “Frasier” David Hyde Pierce.
Joanna Lumley is a well known actress and her best known work is likely to be that of “Absolutely Fabulous” alongside Jennifer Saunders. However, she has also appeared in movies like “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, and television productions like “Sapphire and Steel”, “The New Avengers”, “Sensitive Skin” and “Jam & Jerusalem”. For the stage she has previously appeared in “La Bȇte” in the West End and on Broadway, “Jack and the Beanstalk” at the Royal Albert Hall” and “The Letter” at the Lyric Hammersmith. In recent years she has been in the spotlight for her efforts as a human rights activist for the Gurkha Justice Campaign.
“The Lion in Winter” is best known as a movie from 1968 that was based on a Broadway play. Among the cast members were Peter O’Toole, Anthony Hopkins and Timothy Dalton, in addition to Katherine Hepburn in the role that Lumley would take on if she West End play goes ahead.
The plot focuses on the politics of royal ascension to the throne, with King Henry II, his wife Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine and King Philip II of France all in disagreement over the rightful heir and subsequent arrangements. The respective options are Prince John (later King John of England) and Prince Richard the Lionheart (later King Richard I of England), whilst Philip has provided a wife for the future king, demanding her return if no wedding takes place.
The film earned Katherine Hepburn an Academy Award for Best Actress, so Lumley would have a lot to live up to, though her appearance should ensure plenty of demand for Theatre Tickets when they go on sale. She would be joining other familiar screen actors like David Tennant (appearing in “Much Ado About Nothing”) and Vanessa Redgrave (“Driving Miss Daisy”) when she makes her way to a West End stage.