Four Nights in Knaresborough (2004)
by Paul Webb
Directed by Michael R. Davis
Performances: Wed 11th – Sat 14th February 2004, Prompt Corner
'I first discovered the story of Henry II and Becket when I was at school in Ipswich and it has fascinated me ever since. In the years that followed, the myth of, 'Who will rid me of this turbulent priest', has been superceded by the truth which is much more fascinating. For example, the unarmed knights visited with Becket in his apartments and tried to convince him to return. Becket refused and the knights returned to the cathedral courtyard and armed themselves. Becket shouted abusive language within the cathedral itself when the knights tried to arrest him. He called them, 'pimps and whoremongers'; not the prietliest of language. Everyone knows what happened next. Several plays have tried to capture the relationship between Henry II and Becket: "Murder in the Cathedral", "Curtmantle" and "Becket", however, they look at the crime and not the 'criminals'. This play looks at the criminals themselves, not only teeling the story of Henry and Becket, but also to give some insight into the knights, so that they emerge from the murky shadows of history as living men trying to cope with the weight of their crime. In this production, I have had the privilege of working with a great cast and I wish to thank them for all their hard work and dedication. Special thanks also to Will Howard for his work on the poster and Paul Fortune for general assistance.
Michael R. Davis, Director.
P.s. For the record, Henry II did not say, 'Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?'. He said, 'One man, this low-born clerk; came pushing his way into my court mounted on a lame pack-mare. Now he is turning out the proper heir and sits in triumph on the throne while all you lot, who were companions on his rise, just stand watching.'
- Richard Brito - Terry Millard
- Hugh de Morville - Jack King
- Reginald FitzUrse - Paul Hurley
- William de Traci - Simon Gleisner
- Catherine - Magda Abdou
- Wigmore/John the Visitor - Chris Learmonth
- Becket - Bernard Bullbrook
- Director - Michael R. Davis
- Production Assistant - Cara Thomas
- Stage Manager - Kat Boyce
- Assistant Stage Manager - Anna Thomas
- Lighting - Stuart Draper
- Sound - Andrew Rickinson
- Armourers - Nigel Varney, David Page, Catherine Chambers
- Costumes - Julie Garrett, Ros Boyce
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