A new U.K. tour of Owen O'Neill and Dave Johns' stage adaptation of The Shawshank Redemption, based on the Stephen King novella and its 1994 screen adaptation, begins August 31 at Theatre Royal in Windsor. Joe Absolom (Midsomer Murders) and Ben Onwukwe (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) lead the cast as Andy Dufresne and Ellis "Red" Redding, respectively. Onwukwe returns to the role after starring in a 2016 U.K. tour of the work; that production has been re-staged for this new outing.
Joining Absolom and Onwukwe in the cast are Mark Heenehan as Stammas, Kenneth Jay as Brooksie, Coulter Dittman as Tommy Williams, Joe Reisig as Bryan Hadley, Owen Oldroyd as Entwistle, Jay Marsh as Bogs Diamond, Jules Brown as Rico, Leigh Jones as Rooster, and Kieran Garland as Dawkins, with Samarge Hamilton in the ensemble.
David Esbjornson is back at the helm after directing the 2016 tour, co-directing with Tim Welton. The production features designs by Gary McCann, lighting design by Chris Davey, and sound design by Andy Graham.
The play is adapted from Stephen King's novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, best known from its 1994 screen adaptation starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. The story centers on banker Andy as he suffers through an unjust life sentence in prison and befriends a fellow inmate. The work debuted in 2009 at Dublin's Gaiety Theatre, playing London's West End later the same year. The adaptation made its North American debut in 2019 at Missouri's Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre.
Following Windsor, the tour has planned stops at Derby Theatre, Malvern Festival Theatre, Devonshire Park Theatre Eastbourne, Leicester Curve, Milton Keynes Theatre, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Guildford, The Lowry Salford, and The Alexandra Birmingham. Bill Kenwright produces.
For a full itinerary and tickets, visit Kenwright.com.