The Prisoner of Zenda at the Theatre Royal, in Bury St Edmunds

The Theatre Royal, in Bury St Edmunds, gets September off to a hilarious start with a comedic production of The Prisoner of Zenda a swashbuckling tale of duty, deceit and derring-do from the team which brought you The 39 Steps.

Suffolk Summer Theatres brings this story, which has previously been adapted with casts reaching their thousands, to life with only seven in the cast, turning it from a thrilling novel into a madcap comedy tour-de-force from Wednesday to Saturday, September 6 to 9.

Adapted by Mark Sterling from the celebrated novel by Anthony Hope.

On the eve of the coronation of the new king of Ruritania, crown-prince Rudolf disappears leaving the throne clear for his scheming half-brother, Michael. Coincidentally, Rudolf Rassendyll, an English adventurer who by chance bears an uncanny resemblance to the missing king, is visiting Ruritania at the same time. Rassendyll is persuaded to play the part of the king.

All too soon he finds himself involved in high adventure. His quest: to save the kingdom, outwit Michael and rescue the Prisoner of Zenda, unwittingly winning the hand of the feisty Princess Flavia on the way.

Joe Leat plays Rudolf V / Rassendyll. His theatre credits include: The 39 Steps, Murder by the Book (SST), The Mystery of St Finnigans, Elbow (Eastern Angles), Her Mothers Voice (Ink Festival), The Secret Garden, Casanova, Mindgame and A Christmas Carol (Spinning Wheel Theatre Co.) TV & film credits include: Taboo (BBC), With Love From Suffolk (Film Suffolk), Opening Night of the Living Dead (Suitcase Films), Bubastes and The Avengers.

Amy Christina Murray plays Princess Flavia. Her theatre credits include: Cinderella (Newbury Corn Exchange), What Lucy Was (Bridewell Theatre), The 39 Steps, Murder by the Book, Anybody for Murder, The Titfield Thunderbolt (SST), Dreams of a Scholar (Old Vic- New Voices), Allo Allo (UK Tour) and Medea (The Marlowe/Half Moon Theatre/ Salisbury Playhouse)House).

The remainder of the cast include Rick Savery (Theatre: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Bad Girls The Musical and How The Other Half Loves. TV: Eastenders and The Bill) Sarah Ogley (Theatre: Knock Knock, A Day in the Married Life, and Anybody for Murder. Film and TV: Otherwise Engaged, Fish Fingers and Who Kills for Jasmine) company regular Clive Flint (Theatre: The Titfield Thunderbolt, Sherlock’s Last Case and Deathtrap. TV: Eastenders, Casualty and The Crown) Tom Slatter (RSC, Stonecrabs Theatre Co, Ovation Productions and more) and Saul Boyer (Undercover Star, Jack & I: The Musical, and Mind The Gap).

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