French melodrama set to take to the stage at Hostry Festival
- Credit: Simon Finlay Photography
A tale of passion, tragedy and intrigue is taking to the stage at Norwich's Hostry Festival this week.
French melodrama The Eagle Has Two Heads is the autumn arts extravaganza's central show, and the production opens tonight and runs until Saturday.
Set in an Austrian castle in about 1910, the Jean Cocteau play sees a queen's would-be assassin fall hopelessly in love with her.
For a brief moment in time their love blooms - but it is not long before before the corridors of power begin to echo with disapproval.
Stash Kirkbride, the director of the show and artistic director of the Hostry Festival, said the production gave audiences a unique chance to see the play which was first performed in Paris in the 1940s.
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'It's a revival of a long lost French melodrama, a romantic play not seen in Norfolk since 1947 when it was performed at the Maddermarket Theatre,' he said.
'We are proud to be returning this play to Norfolk, and for the first time at the Hostry Festival we are also doing a play completely in the round. 'Audience members will enter the theatre space at the Hostry and they will be greated by a huge 20ft by 15ft mural of the eagle with two heads that has been painted by artist Gennadiy V. Ivanov, and they will enjoy a highly charged evening of romantic melodrama.
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'I'm very proud and very excited to present an extremely strong cast of actors from Norfolk as well as live music from cellist Ivan McCready.'
Actress Tracey Catchpole plays the queen in the show and Adam Edwards plays Stanislas the assassin. They are joined by fellow cast members Peter Barrow, Lucy Monaghan, Christopher Neal and Tawa Groombridge.
The show is among a number of events taking place at Norwich Cathedral's Hostry this week as part of the festival. Other events include a free screening of the 1948 film version of The Eagle Has Two Heads on Wednesday, a musical event inspired by Julian of Norwich on Saturday, and actress Hayley Mills in conversation with Stash Kirkbride on Sunday.
The Eagle Has Two Heads is at Norwich Cathedral's Hostry until Saturday, October 28. Tickets £15 (£12 concessions).
For more information about the show and other Hostry Festival events, visit www.hostryfestival.org or call 01603 598676.