This summer, the world premiere of Mrs Orwell starring Cressida Bonas (Doctor Thorne (ITV), Gatsby (Leicester Square Theatre), An Evening with Lucien Freud (Leicester Square Theatre)) and Peter Hamilton Dyer (Twelfth Night and Richard III (Broadway for Shakespeare’s Globe), A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation (RSC), Genius: Einstein (Fox 21 Television)) will be brought to life at the Old Red Lion. This exciting play is based on actual events.
They will be joined by Rosie Ede (Doc Martin, Call The Midwife and 1984 (West End)), Edmund Digby Jones (The Crown, (Netflix), Quacks (BBC), Outlander (Sony Pictures)) and Robert Stocks (Jeeves and Wooster A Perfect Nonsense (World Tour), Get Santa (The Royal Court), Animal Farm (Italian Tour)).
University College Hospital, London, 1949. George Orwell is in the last chapter of his life with a severe case of Tuberculosis. He still believes he has at least three novels in him so to keep his morale up he promptly proposes to friend Sonia Brownell (played by Bonas), a 30 year old assistant magazine editor. When Sonia learns that she is his only hope, she must decide whether to succumb to the advances of Lucien Freud or enter a platonic marriage with one of the country’s most renowned writers.
The production will explore the private side of one of the most public icons of the 20th century. This theme of public and private contrasts will be reflected in the staging by having a built in hospital corridor behind Room 65, the hospital room where the action takes place.
Director Jimmy Walters comments, “As Proud Haddock moves into new writing territory I can think of no better script to start with first than Tony Cox’s Mrs Orwell. Orwell couldn’t be more relevant today and we will give the audience a glance into the private life of one of the most public figures of his generation. Tony’s writing dances between hilarity and poignancy and is by far the best script I’ve read in recent years. I really can’t wait for audiences to see it.”
Proud Haddock return to the Old Red Lion following the sold out run of A Naughty Night with Noel Coward in 2015. Other productions include Tony Harrison’s The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus (Finborough Theatre), John Osborne’s A Subject of Scandal and Concern (Finborough Theatre) and William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar (Saatchi Gallery).