BEBINGTON Dramatic Society presents a tale of 'back-stabbing, spying, double-crossing and rampant infidelity' next month.

Its production of James Goldman's The Lion in Winter - staged at the Gladstone Theatre in Port Sunlight from Wednesday March 6 to Saturday, March 9 - pits King Henry II against the strong-willed Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Set during Christmas 1183 at Henry's castle in France, the play charts all the plotting and intrigue between Henry II, Eleanor of Aquitaine, their three surviving sons, Richard, Geoffrey and John, and their Christmas court guest King Philip II of France (son of Eleanor's ex-husband King Louis VII of France).

Also in the mix is Philip's half sister Alais, who has been at the English court since she was betrothed to Richard at the age of eight, but has since become Henry's mistress.

The aim is to sort out a successor to the English throne – Henry favours John, Eleanor favours Richard, and Geoffrey will play both sides against each other and come out on top, he hopes.

Henry would also like to have another heir by his mistress Alais, but that would only add to the confusion.

A spokesman for Bebington Dramatic Society said "The result is back stabbing, spying, double crossing, and rampant infidelity – a typical family Christmas - that is, for the Plantagenets!"

"It is a fast-paced, witty piece of drama – Dynasty for the Middle Ages."

This battle of the sexes was immortalised in the Academy Award-winning film starring Katherine Hepburn and Peter O'Toole.

Performances start at 7.30pm each night. Tickets, £8, are available online at, from the box office 0151 643 8757, or pay on the door on the evening of the performance.

The Society's next production will be the hilarious cricketing comedy Outside Edge, and it will run from June 11-15.