"I was dazzled, I had expected to find a saint - and I found a man" - Jean Anouilh
Anouilh's timeless and enthralling play, beautifully captures the conflict between friendship and duty. As a young man Becket was anything but a saint and, as King Henry II's closest friend he enjoyed the lifestyle only royalty could afford, the two men spending their time carefree and pleasure seeking. The terrible schism, which tears them apart, is an act of friendship and love - Henry makes Becket Archbishop of Canterbury. Finally with a purpose to his life, Becket follows his new vocation with such zeal that their two worlds can only collide.
In the 1964 film, Richard Burton played Becket and Peter O'Toole was Henry II, both of whom were nominated for Best Actor category at the Oscars. In this major new production Becket is played by one of the country's leading film stars Dougray Scott (Enigma, Mission Impossible II, Ripley's Game) and an accomplished stage actor who was last seen in London in Sam Mendes' production of To The Green Fields Beyond at The Donmar Warehouse. Leading classical actor Jasper Britton plays Henry II, Jasper was recently in the hugely successful RSC season of The Taming Of The Shrew and The Tamer Tamed both in Stratford and the West End. He was last seen at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket in Japes. They will be joined by an ensemble of fifteen including two choristers from Westminster Abbey. They will be singing the music of award winning composer John Cameron who has written a major new work for this production Becket: Requiem for a Friendship.
John Caird (Les Miserables, Hamlet, Humble Boy), one of the country's leading directors leads this remarkable creative team which also includes Frederic Raphael (Far From The Madding Crowd, Eyes Wide Shut) who has written the new translation, Stephen Brimson Lewis (All's Well That End's Well, Les Parents Terribles) as the designer and Alison Weir the best selling historical novelist (Eleanor of Aquitaine, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, The Princes in the Tower) who joins as historical consultant.