Wit and warmth in store as Kenilworth's Priory Theatre stages The Dresser

Kevin Coughlan (Sir) and Alan Wales (Norman)
Kevin Coughlan (Sir) and Alan Wales (Norman)

The Priory Theatre in Kenilworth will be taking to the stage next week in Ronald Harwood’s funny and poignant play The Dresser.

It tells the story of a fateful night in a small regional theatre during the Second World War as a troupe of touring actors stage a production of Shakespeare's King Lear.

Bombs are falling, the sirens are wailing, the curtain is up in an hour but the actor-manager Sir, who is playing Lear, is nowhere to be seen. His dresser Norman must scramble to keep the production alive but will Sir turn up in time and if he does will he be able to perform that night?

The Dresser explores the relationship between two men who are reluctantly and inevitably co-dependent. Harwood based the play on his experiences as dresser to English Shakespearean actor-manager Sir Donald Wolfitt.

As with another of Harwood’s plays, Quartet, which the Priory performed in 2018, the script was turned into a hugely successful film in 1983 with Albert Finney and Tom Courtney.

The play runs at The Priory Theatre, Rosemary Hill, Kenilworth from Monday May 13 to 18 Saturday May 18. Visit www.priorytheatre.co.uk to book.