Big Dawg Productions presents The Lion in Winter - WSFX - FOX Wilmington, NC

Director 'mines every inch of comedy' out of play normally considered drama

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Actors in 'The Lion in Winter' rehearse at Cape Fear Playhouse. Actors in 'The Lion in Winter' rehearse at Cape Fear Playhouse.
A scene from Big Dawg's production of 'The Lion in Winter.' A scene from Big Dawg's production of 'The Lion in Winter.'
Big Dawg Productions presents 'The Lion in Winter.' Big Dawg Productions presents 'The Lion in Winter.'

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Big Dawg Productions is finding the humor in a play often considered a drama.

"He has mined every inch of comedy," said actor Rick Forrester. "I would throw things at him and he would be like, keep it!"

Forrester is referring to his director, Robb Mann, who's making sure The Lion in Winter by James Goldman gets the laughs it deserves.

"Most people do it as a very serious drama, but it's actually a very funny show in a very dark comedy kind of way," said Mann.

"It's a yuckfest," said Forrester.

The play is set at Christmas time in the year 1183. King Henry rules England as he contemplates fighting France. His sons are primed to take over the throne. His wife is locked up.

"Because she's plotted against him and led revolutions," said Mann.

It's just your typical family gathering.

"Nothing says fun at the holidays like a family squabbling over secession and all that kind of stuff," said Mann. "It's basically people enjoying doing really cruel things to each other, but it does end up saying a lot about the nature of true love."

And it says it with flourish.

"The script is so perfect," said Forrester. "All the words are poetry like Shakespeare, but it's comprehensible. I can understand what everyone is saying."

Even if you don't trust what's being said.

"Depending on who you're talking to, you're lying about it, you're buttering them up, you're whatever you have to do to get what you want," said Forrester.

Which, in this case, is most often a laugh.

The Lion in Winter

For tickets, call (910) 367-5237 or click here.

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