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The Lion in Winter : 12th-15th October 2005

John Ansari stars as Henry II, alongside his partner, Alison Munro as Eleanor of Aquitaine

Directed by Craig Walton

Cast:

Henry II
Eleanor of Aquitaine
Prince Richard
Prince Geoffrey
Prince John
Princess Alais
King Phillip II of France

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John Ansari
Alison Munro
Tony Kennick
Neil Sullivan
Owen Williams
Laura McDonnell
Rob Joyce

Just an ordinary family Christmas for the Plantagenets?

The Lion in Winter is a powerful witty drama based on the end of the impressive reign of Henry II of England. Henry has built a vast empire and wants an heir to succeed him and the land he has aquired to remain intact. His three sons: the war-hungry Richard (the Lionheart); the devious Geoffrey; and the half-witted John, are battling against each other for his crown.

Henry has released his estranged wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, from imprisonment for the Christmas celebrations. Their stormy marriage fell aprt years before due to their mutual infidelities and shared desire for power and land. Henry had imprisoned Eleanor for plotting against him with Richard and Geoffrey after he had shown favour to his youngest son, John. Henry and Eleanor's passionate affection for each other is still apparent, but is tainted by distrust. The situaiton is further complicated by the presence of Henry's lover, Alais and her bother, King Phillip II of France. Phillip visits the family gathering at Chinon to enforce a treaty that Alais marry Richard in exchange for the county of Vexin.

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