A new production of Moon Tiger starring Jane Asher in the lead role opens its UK tour at the Theatre Royal Bath from Tuesday 21st January to Saturday 25th January. Set before, during and after World War II, this award-winning epic tale has been adapted for the stage by Simon Reade and directed by Stephen Unwin.
Claudia Hampton is a popular historian, a strong, beautiful and difficult woman. Now in her seventies, she is plotting her greatest work – a history of the world. She looks back over her life growing up between the wars and remembers the people who have shared its triumphs and tragedies.
There is Gordon, her adored brother; Jasper, the charming, untrustworthy lover and father of her daughter; and Tom, her one great love, both found and lost during the El Alamein campaign when she worked as a war correspondent. Against a background of world events, Claudia’s own remarkable story provokes a sharp combination of sadness, shock and amusement.
Winner of the 1987 Booker Prize, Penelope Lively’s Moon Tiger is an eloquent and haunting story of loss and desire. Both moving and compelling, this new production of one of the great novels of the twentieth century sees Moon Tiger brought to the stage for the first time.
Jane Asher stars as Claudia Hampton. One of the UK’s most accomplished actresses, her many film and television credits include, in 2013, the comedy I Give It A Year and Stephen Poliakoff’s five-part drama for BBC 2, Dancing on the Edge, as well as recent appearances in BBC’s Waterloo Road and Tom and Jenny. Having worked in film and television since the age of five, she has appeared in countless plays at the National Theatre, the Royal Court, in the West End and on Broadway. Her recent theatre credits include Pride and Prejudice at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre; Charley’s Aunt, which toured to Bath in 2012; and The Importance of Being Earnest in rep with Farewell to the Theatre at Kingston’s Rose Theatre; Festen and Things We Do for Love in the West End; House & Garden at the National Theatre; and Peter Hall’s 2009 revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s Bedroom Farce. Her previous appearances at the Theatre Royal Bath also include What the Butler Saw in 2001 and The Reluctant Debutante in 2011. Her extensive film and television work also includes, Alfie; Paris By Night; Brideshead Revisited; Crossroads; Wish Me Luck; The Mistress; Poirot; and Holby City.
The role of Tom is played by Tim Delap, who has previously performed at the Theatre Royal Bath in The Old Country in 2006 and The History Boys in 2007. His television credits include Titanic, Doctors, Four Seasons, Black Mirror, Midsomer Murders and To The Ends Of The Earth. The cast also includes Phil Cumbus, who has previously performed at the Theatre Royal Bath in The Wizard of Oz in 1998; Christopher Brandon; Jade Williams and Hilary Tones.
Simon Reade’s previous stage adaptations include Pride and Prejudice, which played Bath in 2009; for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, which toured to Bath in 2003, and Ted Hughes’s Tales from Ovid; and Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful.
Dame Penelope Lively, who celebrated her eightieth birthday in 2013, is a prolific, popular and critically-acclaimed author of fiction for both children and adults. She was awarded the Booker Prize for Moon Tiger and also nominated for the Whitbread Award. Some of the other numerous literary awards she has received include, the Whitbread Award for A Stitch In Time; the Carnegie Medal for The Ghost Of Thomas Kempe; and the Arts Council National Book Award for Treasures Of Time. As well as winning the Booker Prize, her work has also been shortlisted for this prestigious award on two previous occasions for The Road To Lichfield and According To Mark. Her novel Family Album was shortlisted for the Costa Prize. Many of Penelope Lively’s books have been translated into several foreign languages. Her most recent novel, Ammonites and Leaping Fish, was published in October 2013.
Director Stephen Unwin is the Artistic Director of The Rose Theatre, Kingston. He was the founder of English Touring Theatre for whom he directed twenty much-acclaimed productions. Moon Tiger will mark the tenth time that a production directed by Stephen Unwin has played Bath. Some of his many previous productions staged at the Theatre Royal and enjoyed by audiences and critics alike, include Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 in 1997; The Winslow Boy in 2009; as well as, Born in the Gardens in 2008, Home in 2009, and This Happy Breed in 2011, all three of which featured as part of The Peter Hall Company seasons.
MOON TIGER appears at the Theatre Royal Bath from Tuesday 21st January to Saturday 25th January. Tickets are available from the Theatre Royal Bath Box Office on 01225 448844 or online at www.theatreroyal.org.uk