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The tour kicks off on 31 August at Theatre Royal, Windsor.


Based on Stephen King's 1982 novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption and adapted by Owen O'Neill and Dave Johns, this thrilling stage production examines desperation, injustice, friendship and hope behind the claustrophobic bars of a maximum-security facility.

The 1994 feature film, starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, was nominated for seven Academy Awards. The Shawshank Redemption went on to become the nation's favourite movie and a huge source of inspiration to film makers, with The National Film Registry citing the film as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Despite protests of his innocence, Andy Dufresne is handed a double life sentence for the brutal murder of his wife and her lover. Incarcerated at the notorious Shawshank facility, he quickly learns that no one can survive alone.

Andy strikes up an unlikely friendship with the prison fixer Red, and things take a slight turn for the better. However, when Warden Stammas decides to bully Andy into subservience and exploit his talents for accountancy, a desperate plan is quietly hatched...

This production will see Joe Absolom take on the role of the wrongly convicted Andy Dufresne with Ben Onwukwe as his inmate Ellis "Red" Redding. Further casting to be announced.

With an impressive TV career, Joe Absolom has barely been off our screens in twenty-five years: from Matthew Rose in EastEnders to Al Large in Doc Martin, Christopher Halliwell in A Confessionand Andy Warren in The Bay.

Joe Absolom said, "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".

Boasting a 30-year stage career, Ben Onwukwe has seen leading roles with the RSC and the Royal Court, as well as 11 years on TV as Recall McKenzie in London's Burning and, more recently, the role of Jackson Donckers in Professor T. He reprises his critically acclaimed performance as Ellis "Red" Redding in The Shawshank Redemption, which he first played in the production's 2016 tour.

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".

Tour Dates:

Theatre Royal, Windsor

Wed 31 Aug - Sat 10 Sept 01753 853 888

The Theatre, Derby

Mon 12 - Sat 17 Sept 0133 2593 939

Festival Theatre, Malvern
Mon 19 - Sat 24 Sept 01684 892277

Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne

Mon 26 Sept - Sat 1 Oct 01323 412000

The Curve, Leicester

Mon 10 - Sat 15 Oct 0116 242 3595

Milton Keynes Theatre, Milton Keynes

Mon 17 - Sat 22 Oct 0333 009 6690

Yvonne-Arnaud, Guildford
Tue 25 - Sat 29 Oct 0148 344 0000

Lowry Theatre, Salford
Mon 31 Oct - Sat 5 Nov 0343 208 6000

The Alexandra, Birmingham

Mon 7 Nov - Sat 12 Nov 020 7206 1174

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