Venue: Christ Church Cathedral, St. Aldates Oxford OX1 1DP
King and archbishop clash in one of the defining episodes of British history. TS Eliot's verse drama tells the story of the assassination of Thomas à Becket at the hands of four knights.
A professional cast lines up with the cream of Oxford University's actors in this immersive blend of music, drama and poetry. The stunning interior of Christ Church Cathedral provides a spectacular setting for Eliot's masterpiece.
TS Eliot was voted Britain's favourite poet in a recent BBC poll. His poems include The Wasteland, Four Quartets, and Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats and Murder in the Cathedral is widely regarded as one of the finest verse plays of the twentieth century.
Director Tom Littler returns to Oxford where he directed A Streetcar Named Desire and Into the Woods at Oxford Playhouse as a student. Since graduating he has been Artistic Director of Primavera and an Associate Director of the Peter Hall Company.
For more details and to book tickets please visit the Oxford Playhouse Website.
The Christ Church Connection
Apart from the obvious appeal of staging the play in the cathedral, the play has significance for the House. The 1940 Christ Church production (in the cloisters) was not only the first amateur production of Eliot's play, but the first time male and female Oxford undergraduates had been allowed to appear in the same cast; Iris Murdoch (Somerville) led the chorus. The director was also female - Frances Podmore, a music student from the Oxford Society of Home Students (now St. Anne's Coll.). Dr. 'Freddie' Madden and his brother Tom are among those known still to be around from the 1940 cast. There were other Ch Ch productions in 1955 and 1959.
Chris Sladen (1953)