Denis Lill to replace Tony Slattery in the National Tour of SHADOWLANDS due to illness

Due to health issues, Tony Slattery has sadly had to withdraw from the 2016 national tour of William Nicholson’s SHADOWLANDS, and the producers, director and cast wish him a speedy recovery. Denis Lill has kindly agreed to step into the role of Warnie and has joined rehearsals today.

The new production, directed by Alastair Whatley, will open on 18 February at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, with a national press night on Friday 26 February. SHADOWLANDS will then tour to Salisbury, Eastbourne, Ipswich, Windsor, Croydon, Malvern, Worthing, Doncaster, Chesterfield, Birmingham, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Cardiff, Exeter and Richmond, with further dates to be announced.

Producers, Jon and Anne-Marie Woodley of Birdsong Productions, said of the news, “We are very sorry that Tony has had to leave and along with all the company of SHADOWLANDS, we send our love and best wishes. We are delighted that Denis has so kindly agreed to step in at such short notice to take on the role of Warnie. Having both previously worked with Denis, we know he will be a lovely addition to the talented cast and crew of SHADOWLANDS.”

The cast of SHADOWLANDS will be led by Stephen Boxer (Humans, The Iron Lady, Garrow’s Law, Doctors) as C.S. Lewis and Amanda Ryan (The Forsyte Saga, Shameless) as Joy Davidman, along with Denis Lill (The Royal, Only Fools and Horses, Rumpole of the Bailey) as Major W.H. Lewis ‘Warnie’. They will be joined by Simon Shackleton as Professor Christopher Riley, Jeffrey Harmer as Rev ‘Harry’ Harrington, Ian Marr as Alan Gregg, Richard Holliday as Dr Maurice Oakley and Shannon Rewcroft as Douglas, with Holly Smith and Alistair Higgins playing multiple supporting roles.

SHADOWLANDS, by William Nicholson, tells the love story of C.S. Lewis, Oxford don and author of The Chronicles of Narnia and The Screwtape Letters, and American poet Joy Davidman. What begins as a formal meeting of two very different minds slowly develops into a feeling of connection and love. Lewis finds his quiet life with his brother Warnie disrupted by the outspoken, feisty Davidman, whose uninhibited behaviour offers a sharp contrast to the rigid sensibilities of the male-dominated university. Each provides the other with new ways of viewing the world, but Lewis’s Christian faith is tested when Joy is diagnosed with cancer.

SHADOWLANDS won the Evening Standard Drama Award for Best Play in 1990 and Nicholson was nominated for a Tony Award when it transferred to Broadway. The film version, which starred Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger, won Best British Film at the 1994 BAFTAs and Nicholson was nominated for a Best Screenplay nomination.

This major revival of SHADOWLANDS is produced by Birdsong Productions, the people behind the recent critically-acclaimed and hugely successful touring productions of Birdsong and Flare Path, in association with Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre.



18 – 27 February
Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford
01483 44 00 00

29 February – 5 March
Salisbury Playhouse
01722 320 333

7 – 12 March
Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne
01323 412 000

14 – 19 March
New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich
01473 295900

29 March – 2 April
Theatre Royal Windsor
01753 853 888

4 – 9 April
Ashcroft Theatre, Croydon
020 8688 9291

11 – 16 April
Festival Theatre, Malvern
01684 892277

19 – 23 April
Connaught Theatre, Worthing
01903 206 206

26 April – 30 April
CAST Theatre, Doncaster
01302 303 959

16 – 21 May
Pomegranate Theatre, Chesterfield
01246 345 222

31 May – 4 June
Birmingham Repertory Theatre
0121 236 4455

13 – 18 June
New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth
023 9264 9000

21 – 25 June
New Theatre, Cardiff
029 2087 8889

28 June – 2 July
Exeter Northcott Theatre
01392 726363

25 July – 30 July
Richmond Theatre
0844 871 7651