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.