Stephen King’s 1982 novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption is set for the stage this year in a new adaptation by Owen O’Neill and Dave Johns.
The play examines desperation, injustice, friendship and hope behind the claustrophobic bars of a maximum-security facility.
The book was famously turned into the 1994 movie The Shawshank Redemption starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, and was nominated for seven Academy Awards.
The play stars Joe Absolom as wrongly convicted Andy Dufresne, with Ben Onwukwe returning to the role of his inmate Ellis “Red” Redding. Further casting will be announced soon.
Joe Absolom’s TV credits include playing Matthew Rose in EastEnders, Al Large in Doc Martin, Christopher Halliwell in A Confession and Andy Warren in The Bay. Ben Onwukwe has played leading roles with the RSC and the Royal Court. His TV credits include Recall McKenzie inLondon’s Burning and Jackson Donckers in Professor T.
Joe Absolom said in a statement: “The Shawshank Redemption is one of my favourite films, an incredibly moving tale of friendship and injustice, and I’m thrilled to be playing the iconic role of Andy Dufresne on stage around the UK”.
Ben Onwukwe said: “I’m delighted to be returning to the role of “Red” in this amazing production. The Shawkshank Redemption film is one which many hold close to their hearts, and it’s exciting to be bringing Stephen King’s story to new audiences. It is a modern meditation on HOPE and in these times, it is Hope that we need”.
The play is produced by Bill Kenwright, directed by David Esbjornson, designed by Gary McCann and lighting design by Chris Davey.
The Shawshank Redemption – UK Tour 2022
Wed 31 Aug – Sat 10 Sept – Theatre Royal, Windsor
Mon 12 – Sat 17 Sept – The Theatre, Derby
Mon 19 – Sat 24 Sept – Festival Theatre, Malvern
Mon 26 Sept – Sat 1 Oct – Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne
Mon 10 – Sat 15 Oct – The Curve, Leicester
Mon 17 – Sat 22 Oct – Milton Keynes Theatre, Milton Keynes
Tue 25 – Sat 29 Oct – Yvonne-Arnaud, Guildford
Mon 31 Oct – Sat 5 Nov – Lowry Theatre, Salford
Mon 7 Nov – Sat 12 Nov – The Alexandra, Birmingham