" Becket" to close early 11 Dec 2004


" Becket" to close early 11 Dec 2004

Becket, by Jean Anouilh, translated by Frederic Raphael and Stephen Raphael, has posted early closing notices at the Haymarket Theatre. The last performance will be on Saturday 11 Dec 2004. (The show was originally booking to 19 Feb 2005)

A statement from the producer Kim Poster says, “Despite some positive reviews, ticket sales have not been sufficient and therefore I have made the very difficult decision to close the show early whilst audiences are still healthy, for the benefit of both the paying public and indeed the “Becket” cast. I would like to thank the very talented creative team and company for their tireless efforts and the beautiful production that is currently playing at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.”

Directed by John Caird and starring Dougray Scott as Becket and Jasper Britton as Henry II, Becket opened 27 Oct 2004, following previews from 20 Oct 2004, to average notices from the popular press: NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "Jasper Britton... superlative performance." PAUL TAYLOR for THE INDEPENDENT says, "By no means a great play, nor a great staging. But it's a piece that ripples with unofficial energy." BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, "laborious....despite a strong performance as Henry II from Jasper Britton, with his knobbly, grizzled face and equally arresting charisma. But this partly because of the blandness of Dougray Scott." ALASTAIR MACAULAY for THE FINANCIAL TIMES says, "John Caird, reviving the play at the Haymarket, makes it thinner, unfunnier, less plausible, yet more sexually confused than it is." MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "Anouilh's characters are far less interesting than their factual counterparts."

Anouilh’s timeless play captures the conflict between love and duty. As a young man, Thomas à Becket was anything but a saint and, as King Henry II’s closest friend, enjoyed the lifestyle only royalty could afford. The two men spent their time drinking and wenching until an act of friendship tore them apart. Henry made Becket Archbishop of Canterbury and finally, with a purpose to his life, Becket followed his new vocation with such zeal that their two worlds could only collide, with devastating consequences.

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