In Events

After a successful autumn tour, the play, based on Stephen King’s 1982 novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, will continue to entertain audiences, stopping off at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford from 20 – 25 March.

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 continue in the role of the wrongly convicted Andy Dufresne with Ben Onwukwe as his inmate Ellis “Red” Redding.

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 Confession and 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 Shawshank 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”.

The cast is completed by Mark Heenehan (Stammas), Kenneth Jay (Brooksie), Coulter Dittman (Tommy Williams), Joe Reisig (Bryan Hadley), Owen Oldroyd (Entwistle), Jay Marsh (Bogs Diamond), Jules Brown (Rico), Leigh Jones (Rooster), Kieran Garland (Dawkins), Samarge Hamilton (Kelly).

Alhambra Theatre, Bradford

Monday 20 – Saturday 25 March 2023

Signed performance: Thursday 23 March 2023 – 7.30pm

Captioned performance: Friday 24 March 2023 – 7:30pm

Audio Described performance: Saturday 25 March 2023 – 2.30pm

Tickets £36.50 - £18.50

Call the Box Office on 01274 432000 or visit

All prices shown include booking fees but are subject to postage charge if applicable. Bradford Theatres usual terms and conditions apply.


Alhambra Theatre
Alhambra Theatre Night

Professional theatre providing classic drama, musicals, ballet, opera, pantomime, international dance and West End tours. 1914 Restaurant - A luxurious and sumptuous new dining experience in a brand new purpose built restaurant.



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