“Murder in the Cathedral” is a verse drama by T. S. Eliot, first performed in 1935 at the Canterbury Festival. It portrays the assassination of Archbishop Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral during the reign of Henry II in 1170. Eliot wrote this work in the style of a Classical Greek drama, drawing heavily on the writing of Edward Grim, a clerk and eye witness to the event. The play depicts the events that led to Becket’s assassination in his own cathedral church by knights of Henry II, and wrestles with questions such as “Is it right for a martyr to accept martyrdom?” The assassination of Thomas Becket was a pivotal moment in English history and between his death and the Reformation he was probably one of the most popular saints in England and indeed throughout Europe.
The Bishops’ Players are an ad hoc group who have come together to undertake a dramatic reading of “Murder in the Cathedral” especially for St Mary’s Festival 200. As you would imagine, the Bishops’ Players include the occasional real Bishop and an occasional real Knight, and a number of goodly people from the borough of Banbury as Knights, Priests, Messengers, Tempters, Attendants, Chorus of Women and Archbishops that make up this murderous tale.
Free admission with donations invited. click here to donate.
This event has been sponsored by The Rt. Hon. Sir Tony Baldry DL.