The Lion in Winter

Think your family is dysfunctional? This one is a royal PITA!

By Andrew Andrews

Christopher Joel Onken, Orlando Grant and Steven Patterson in Bridge Street’s production of James Goldman’s The Lion in Winter, directed and designed by John Sowle. Photos by John Sowle.

At the ripe old age of fifty, King Henry II has unified most of the British Isles and western France under his command. With the recent death of his oldest heir, Henry now faces a more internal battle, forced to decide which of his three living sons shall replace him on the throne.

Henry favors John, a teenager, but Queen Eleanor—whom Henry has held under lock and key for the past ten years—wants the older Richard to be the next king.

When King Philip II of France arrives for Christmas Court in 1183, the three sons each separately attempt to conspire with him against Henry, with Eleanor—who wants only to see Henry unhappy—egging them on.

Originally produced on Broadway in 1966, The Lion in Winter is perhaps better known for its more successful 1968 film adaptation starring Peter O’Toole and Katharine Hepburn.

Seth McNeill, Leigh Strimbeck, Grant, Patterson, Michael Raver, and Geneva Turner complete the cast.

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