The celebrated play that draws from historical events in the Norman conquest of England to create a profound portrait of a man's soul—and a transcendent vision of the human spirit From its powerful opening scene, of a naked King Henry II praying at the tomb of Thomas Becket, to the final wrenching act of ultimate self-sacrifice, Jean Anouilh's Becket remains a towering achievement in the history of the theatre. Winner of the Antoinette Perry Award for Best Play of the Season, Anouilh's monumental work—introduced in this edition by the acclaimed writer and critic Andre Aciman—draws from historical events in the Norman conquest of England to paint a profound and enduring portrait of the saint and martyr.
Read More

Serjeant Musgrave’s Dance

Written in 1959 and premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, London, on October 22 of that year. In Arden's introductory note to the text, he describes it as "a realistic, but not a naturalistic" play. The work follows three privates in the British Army and their sergeant, all of whom are deserters from a foreign imperialist war. Serjeant Musgrave and his men, Hurst, Sparky and Attercliffe, come to a northern English coal mining town in 1879. The community is in the grip of a coal strike and cut off by winter snow. The one means of reaching the town is by canal barge. They arrive in the company of the Bargee, a foul-mouthed, disrespectful individual who teases and abuses everyone, especially those in authority. In the local inn the soldiers meet Mrs. Hitchcock, who runs the inn, and the barmaid Annie. The soldiers are greeted by the mayor, parson and constable, who ask them to recruit men in hopes of alleviating some of the town's unemployment as a way to rid the town of their economic dead weight. Musgrave pretends that this is indeed his goal, and asks Mrs. Hitchcock about Billy Hicks, a dead fellow soldier from the mining town. It is revealed that Billy was the father of Annie's illegitimate child, but the baby died, and Annie's sanity has suffered from the loss of both Billy and her child.
Read More

The Lion in Winter

It is Christmas of 1183, and Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine are, for once, together in the drafty castle at Chinon. For all their regal status, they are much like any long-estranged but inseparably married couple: Henry flaunts his new mistress, Eleanor plots against him with their sons. They will do anything they can to hurt each other. And they love each other to distraction.
Read More
  • Category

  • Genre