While the foreign accents are a bit heavy - especially the Italian ones - pushing the presentation towards broad comedy, the rest of this production is a superior example of what an audio play can be. An audio performance depends on the vocal range of the actors. Herein the focus is on Denis O'Hare (Thomas Becket) and Simon Templeman (Henry II, his king), and the richness of the production is primarily achieved by their interaction, and how the play is staged for the ear. Careful attention is also given to volume of voices to suggest, not just physical, but emotional distance. A few selective sound effects sketch crowded courts or cathedrals into being.
Starring (in alphabetical order):
Asher Book as Young Monk, Ensemble
Kevin Daniels as Baron 4, Ensemble
Ken Danzinger as Baron 2, Ensemble
Jean Gilpin as Gwendolyn, Queen Mother
Alan Mandell as Archbishop of Cantebury, Pop
Charlie Mathers as Ensemble
Tim Monison as Baron 3, Cardinal Zambelli, Ensamble
Denis O'Hare as Thomas Becket
Jennifer Rau as Saxon Peasant, Young Queen
Simon Templeman as Henry II
John Vickery as Gilbert Folliot
Douglas Weston as Bishop of York, Baron 1, King Louis
Greg Woodell as Ensemble
(P)2005 L.A. Theatre Works
Becket is a terrific play with interesting ideas about the relationship between religion and the State, as well as about friendship in high places. However, this cast does not have a clue about how to approach the author's lovely language. It's like listening to sitcom Shakespeare. The actor playing Becket is particularly bad. See Becket on stage--even a high school production would be superior to this painfully poor version!
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