ACTOR, Ian Lavender, will make his Edinburgh Fringe debut playing ‘Brooksie’ in The Shawshank Redemption at the Assembly Rooms this summer.
Best-known for playing ‘Pike’ in Dad’s Army (he is the last surviving cast member to have played one of the seven main characters within the platoon), Lavender says: “I am delighted to make my debut, as a performer, in such an iconic piece at the Edinburgh Festival and I am looking forward to it very much.”
Lavender has performed in many stage productions, from Merchant of Venice to The Rocky Horror Show and was also a regular on EastEnders from 2001-2005.
‘Brooksie’ is an inmate at Shawshank of 50 years standing, and works alongside ‘Andy’ in the library; an emotional, spell binding role that says as much about the effect of prison life as the brutality in some of the other inmates.
Other cast members confirmed at present are Omid Djalili as ‘Red’ and Owen O’Neill as ‘Warden Stammas’. The full cast will be announced shortly.
This witty and poignant new adaptation of the Stephen King classic story is set to be the highlight of the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
It will be staged in the opulent and historic surroundings of iconic Fringe venue, The Assembly Rooms. Following in the tradition of major fringe theatrical productions of Hollywood favourites like ’12 Angry Men’ and ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’, the production will aim to cast actors with a comedy pedigree in dramatic roles as well as some of the finest theatre actors in the UK.
Says a spokesperson: “King’s novella, Rita Hayworth And The Shawshank Redemption, was published as part of an anthology in 1982. The film, starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, was released in 1995 and was nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture. It regularly appears in favourite film polls.
“When Andy Dufresne was 30 years old, he was given two life sentences for the murder of his wife and her lover; a crime of which he was innocent.
“How could this quietly spoken bespectacled middle class banker hope to endure the Shawshank Penitentiary?
“Gregory Stammas is the most corrupt Warden in the American prison system, his cruel regime carried out by Bryan Hadley, a psychopathic violent prison guard who turns a blind eye when Andy is repeatedly beaten and sexually abused by the ’Sisters’?
“Andy manages not only to survive all of this, but in a subtle clever way coupled with steely determination, exacts his revenge on those who have tried to destroy him and gives hope to those who believed in him. The Shawshank Redemption is the powerful uplifting story of one man’s incredible self belief, indomitable spirit and long struggle for freedom. As Andy says: ‘You have two options – get busy living or get busy dying.’
“The Shawshank Redemption, scripted by O’Neill and Dave Johns and substantially re-written since first performed in 2009, will run throughout the Fringe at The Assembly Rooms.”
The play will be directed by award-winning Lucy Pitman Wallace, with stage and costume design by Gary McCann and lighting design by Kevin Treacy.
The play is produced by Assembly Rooms Fringe.
Venue Music Hall, Assembly Rooms, George Street
Dates: 2-25 August (not 12)
Prices: £16 / £12
Preview: 1 August 2013, £15 / £11
Box Office: www.arfringe.com/0844 693 3008
For further information contact
0131 225 2279/07710 419762
The Assembly Rooms Press Office.
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Contact: Mike Wilson