Doomwatch DVD cover redesigned – new promo video

DVD publisher Simply Media have commissioned a redesign of the original DVD cover artwork for the forthcoming Doomwatch DVD box-set.

Doomwatch - DVD release - new cover design

The title is now listed on the Simply Media site, and remains available for pre-order on Amazon and other online retailer sites. The Doomwatch DVD boxset (containing all of the remaining episodes from all three series and the 2006 BBC documentary The Cult of… Doomwatch) is released on 4 April 2016.

Simply Media have also produced a new promotional video to support the release.

Denis Lill – Shadowlands tour – cast photos

Denis Lill - Shadowlands - 2016 - national tour

The 2016 national tour of William Nicholson’s Shadowlands, directed by Alastair Whatley, enjoyed its opening night on 18 February at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, ahead of a national press night on Friday 26 February.

Denis Lill (Charles Vaughan, Survivors) is a late addition to the cast, taking on the role of Major W.H. Lewis ‘Warnie’, joining Stephen Boxer (C S Lewis), Amanda Ryan (Joy Davidman), Simon Shackleton (Professor Christopher Riley), Jeffrey Harmer (Rev ‘Harry’ Harrington), Ian Marr (Alan Gregg), Richard Holliday (Dr Maurice Oakley), Shannon Rewcroft (Douglas), with Holly Smith and Alistair Higgins playing multiple supporting roles.

Broadway World has published a gallery of promotional shots from the production.

Tickets for performances at venues across the country are now on sale.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Update, 2 March 2016: The touring production has secured an early glowing five-start review from the Guilford Dragon newspaper (23 February), whose theatre critic concludes:

The whole play is acted well and I don’t know who I would give the most credit to. Would it be: Stephen Boxer as Jack (CS Lewis), Amanda Ryan as Joy, Denis Lill as Warnie, Simon Shackleton as Christopher, Alastair Whatley – director or even William Nicholson as the writer. The stage set is minimalist but highly effective.

The whole combination worked for me. The story was brilliantly told, intellectually stimulating, humerous and naturally it was sad. Inevitably, highly emotional too. I thoroughly enjoyed my evening.

The Salisbury Journal review (1 March 2016) says of the Salisbury Playhouse run:

Finely acted, Stephen Boxer brought gravitas and humour to the role of CS Lewis who wrote the Narnia books and Christian apologetic novels like The Screwtape Letters, as well as non-fiction work.

Amanda Ryan, playing Joy Gresham, was wonderful as the archetypal American who blew the cobwebs away surrounding the comfortable existence of the scholar.

Her physical descent into frailty when she gets cancer is masterfully portrayed as is her patient manner with the reserved Lewis, who not only has to do battle with his emotions, and his faith, in realising he loves Joy but also, when he loses her.

Denis Lill, endearing as Warnie, is full of strength, concern and a hint of mischief.

The Southern Daily Echo review (2 March 2016) observes, of the Salisbury Playhouse run:

In difficult and emotionally demanding roles, Stephen Boxer as “Jack” Lewis and Amanda Ryan as Joy are both outstanding as the gentle lovers.

CS Lewis is a committed Christian, discovering love late in life, Stephen Boxer conveying brilliantly his agonies over traditional values clashing with his new-found affections.

Joy has been married before, to a violent alcoholic, moving to England for a new life. With a convincing Jewish New York accent, Amanda Ryan nails a beautiful mix between American can-do attitude and her cancer-ridden vulnerability.

As Lewis’s stalwart brother Warnie, Denis Lill is superb, his stiff-upper-lip softening as he helps Joy’s emotionally splintering son.

Denis Lill joins the cast of a national tour of Shadowlands

Denis Lill (Charles Vaughan, Survivors) is joining the cast of a new theatrical production of Shadowlands. He is stepping in to the role of Major W.H. Lewis (Warnie) with less than ten days before the tour begins, following the enforced withdrawal of Tony Slattery from the production due to ill-health. Lill’s first day in rehearsal was yesterday (8 February). Producers, Jon and Anne-Marie Woodley of Birdsong Productions, said:

“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 of Shadowlands.”

Describing the production, they add:

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 as Professor Christopher Riley, Jeffrey Harmer as Rev ‘Harry’ Harrington, Ian Marr as Alan Gregg, Richard Holliday as Dr Maurice Oakley and Shannon Rewcroft as Douglas, with Holly Smith and Alistair Higgins playing multiple supporting roles.

Shadowlands, by William Nicholson, 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.

Tickets are available for all dates on the tour, which begins in Guilford on 18 February 2016, and plays at venues across the country, before concluding in London at the end of July.

Shadowlands - on tour - 2016

Denis Lill appears in Midsomer Murders episode “A Dying Art”

Denis Lill (Charles Vaughan, Survivors) appears in the current episode of Midsomer Murders (Series 18, Episode 4) “A Dying Art”, in the role of frustrated and under-achieving artist Simeon Rowling: one of number of suspects in a typical Midsomer Murders‘ killing spree.

Art comes to the picturesque Midsomer village of Angel’s Rise with the opening of a new Sculpture Park. But when its launch is marred by murder, DCI Barnaby and DS Nelson have to get creative to crack a case where art imitates death, and everything has a deeper meaning.

The episode, which was first broadcast on ITV on 3 February 2016, is available for streaming on the ITV hub until early March.

Since John Nettles stood down at the end of the thirteenth series, the lead role in Midsomer Murders (in the guise of DCI Barnaby) has been taken by Neil Dudgeon – who in 2008 appeared in a memorable guest starring role in the third episode of the remake of Survivors (as the paranoid former farmer Sean, who has locked himself and his young children in isolation in a vain attempt to protect them from contact with the infected).

Denis Lill - Midsomer Murders - A Dying Art - Series 18 - Episode 4
Denis Lill – Midsomer Murders – ‘A Dying Art’ – Series 18 – Episode 4