As previously reported (See News, 25 Apr 2005), Martin Shaw (pictured) will lead Robert Bolt’s 1960 play A Man for All Seasons back to the West End. The revival opens this week at the Theatre Royal Windsor and then embarks on a two-month regional tour before transferring to London’s Theatre Royal Haymarket where it opens on 3 January 2006 (previews from 21 December 2005).

Shaw is best known for his television credits in the likes of Judge John Deed, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Rhodes, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Scott of the Antarctic, The Chief and The Professionals. Shaw’s stage credits include The Country Girl, Are You Lonesome Tonight and Peter Hall’s revival of Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband, which he performed on Broadway and in his last West End outing in 1997.

A Man for All Seasons is based on the true life of Thomas More, who confronted King Henry VIII in his rejection of the Roman Catholic Church in order to divorce and remarry. The play seeks to show how this scholar, ambassador, Lord Chancellor and friend of the king sacrificed the good life and the family he loved for a matter of conscience. Bolt’s play was famously made into a 1966 film, starring Paul Scofield as Thomas More, the part which will be played by Shaw.

Shaw is joined in the cast by Maev Alexander, Tony Bell, Clive Carter, Tim Daish, Alison Fiske, Daniel Flynn, Gregory Fox-Murphy, Tim Frances, Clive Kneller, Brian Poyser, John Sackville, Sophie Shaw and Paul Shelley. The production is directed by Michael Rudman and designed by Paul Farnsworth, with lighting by Nick Richings. It’s produced by Bill Kenwright Ltd.

Prior to the West End, A Man for All Seasons opens on 5 October 2005 at the Theatre Royal Windsor and then continues, until 10 December 2005 to Cardiff, Milton Keynes, Richmond, Malvern, Southampton, Wolverhampton, Nottingham and Bath.

Currently at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, another Kenwright production, Aaron Sorkin’s military courtroom drama A Few Good Men starring Hollywood’s Rob Lowe, continues its limited season until 17 December 2005. After A Man for All Seasons, which is booking until 8 April 2006, yet another Kenwright production, Noel Coward comedy Hay Fever starring Dame Judi Dench and directed by Sir Peter Hall, is due to start performances at the theatre (See News, 23 Sep 2005).

- by Terri Paddock