Friday, November 7, 2014

Lion In Winter

The WCT cast: Luke Miller, Jamie Sowers, William Crisp, Candy Beck,
Collin McDowell, Johnathan Tupanjanin and Brandon Feruccio
The play Lion in Winter has been performed by such brilliant couples as Peter O'Toole/Katharine Hepburn  and Patrick Stewart/Glenn Close on the screen, as well as countless others on stage.

It is the story of a rather dysfunctional Medieval family - but one who ultimately shaped the world we live in.

In this fanciful tale about some very real people, we find Henry II of England and his Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, a former Queen of France, and their irascible sons: Richard the Lionheart, John Lackland (later to be known as "Wicked" King John) and Prince Geoffrey, spending the Christmas holidays of 1183 together under a reluctant truce.

An effigy of Eleanor at Fontevraud Abbey where she died and is buried
Eleanor, the wealthiest and most powerful woman in the world in her day, was kept under lock and key for years by her husband who feared her taking over the kingdom. During the time period of the play, she wishes freedom from Henry's incarceration without losing her power or her lands. Henry longs for a son to match him in brilliance and to rule after him -  while the sons are all out to greedily grab the crown.

As fate would have it, Eleanor eventually outlived Henry.  She grew old in a world where few people lived beyond their 40th birthdays. She had incredible experiences in her lifetime of more than 80 years, and in her later years was sought after as an expert in government and diplomacy by people from all over Europe.

Eleanor is a fascinating historical figure, as were her consort and their children.  Check them out in the history section of your library!

Henry II was a dashing man, a good deal younger than his wife
Although the author labeled this play a comedy, I see this as an adult drama, and a very interesting one. It goes to extremes in emotion and has twists and turns that are riveting.

As a descendant of Eleanor and Henry (through their son John), I enjoy seeing these powerful personalities come to life, although I doubt the play captures them as they really were.  Their lives were highly complicated by their positions in life and the times in which they lived, and the play helps us to understand that it is not easy to rule... nor to be a good spouse or parent.

So, come join the Whittier Community Theatre as they present The Lion In Winter, premiering tonight (Friday, 11/07) at the Center Theatre.

The show will run for three weekends:  November 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22 with a matinee on November 16th.

For tickets and ticket information, please call the reservation line:  562.696.0600

The performances will be held at:
The Center Theatre
7630 S., Washington Avenue
Whittier, California 90602

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