Synopses & Reviews
Anouilh's classic historical tale of conflict between church and state, in a major new translation by Frederic and Stephen Raphael
In Becket, Anouilh presents the history of England under Henry II as if it was France under German occupation. As Henry's long-time political playmate, Thomas's elevation to Archbishop of Canterbury forces him to sacrifice the love of his leader for his newfound love of the church:"If I become archbishop I shall cease to be your friend".
Becket was first produced at the Theatre Montparnasse in 1959.
This new translation is published to tie in with a production of the play opening at London's Theatre Royal, Haymarket.
When the Archbishop of Canterbury died, Henry II forced his companion and political lieutenant, Thomas Becket, to take his place. Becket told his King: "If I become archbishop, I shall cease to be your friend." Becket, who with Henry had fought the Church for the good of the State, now felt responsible for the honor of God. Conflict was inevitable and was followed, just as inevitably, by murder and remorse.
This translation by Frederic and Stephen Raphael of Jean Anouilh's Becket was made into a major production starring Dougray Scott at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, London, in October 2004.
Radical new translation of the Jean Anouilh classic
About the Author
Jean Anouilh was born in Bordeaux in 1910 and lived for many years in Switzerland until his death in 1987. His best-known plays are: Restless Heart (1934), Dinner with the Family, Traveller without Lu ggage (both 1937) Thieves' Carnival (1938), Leocadia (1939), Point of Departure (Eurydice) (1941), A ntigone (1944), the Rehearsal (1950), The Waltz of the Toreadors (1952), The Lark (1953), Poor Bitos (1956), The Director of the Opera (1973). Methuen publishes two volumes of his collected plays. Fre deric Raphael has written nineteen novels as well as various translations, essays and radio plays.