As Stage 43 members readied for their new season last summer, they polled future directors about what dream plays they had yet to tackle.
For Wayne Nolan, it was the period piece Lion in Winter.
Penned by James Goldman in 1966, the fictional drama centres on Henry II of England; his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, whom he has imprisoned for a decade and temporarily released for the holidays; their three surviving sons, Richard, Geoffrey and John; and guests during Christmas in 1183 in France.
Tempers flare when Henry insists John inherit his throne while Eleanor pushes for Richard to take hold.
Next week, the Coquitlam theatrical society will open the production at the Evergreen Cultural Centre as part of its A Walk on the Wild Side run.
Starring Lucia Lorenzi as Alais Capet, Luca Herring as Geoffrey and Sean Mawhinney as the French king Philip Capet, Lion in Winter is a “passion project” for Nolan, said Claire Pinkett, Stage 43 president and the show producer.
And it will be his directorial debut with the company.
“It’s such a clever play,” Pinkett said. “It’s so witty. Some of the lines are very biting…. It’s the original Game of Thrones.”
As with its past productions, Stage 43 is donating partial proceeds from ticket sales to a charity.
For Lion in Winter, the company has picked the Canadian Federation of University Women, Coquitlam chapter, which recently marked its 50th year.
For tickets to Lion in Winter at the Evergreen Cultural Centre (1205 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam), call the box office at 604-927-6555 or visit stage43.org/tickets. There is a special two-for-one pricing on single, adult tickets Jan. 22 (use discount code “LION”). As well, opening night Jan. 16 includes a cast and crew reception after the show.