This rerelease of the 1953 recording of Eliot's poetic drama is a real treasure. Robert Donat plays the pious Archbishop Thomas Becket as he struggles with his instinctive knowledge that King Henry II's loose tongue will make Thomas a martyr. Donat's Thomas is sensitive and resigned, without being annoyingly sanctimonious. Also of note are the excellent performances of Thomas's tempters and of the Chorus. A knowledge of the history is essential to understanding the story as Eliot's playwriting is a bit demanding for the casual listener. Attentive listeners will be rewarded by a smooth, clean production and performance.
T.S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral is both a fascinating retelling of the 12th-century assassination of Archbishop Thomas Becket and a compelling call for resistance in the face of intimidation. Written against the backdrop of rising Fascism in 20th-century Europe, Eliot’s classic verse play is as relevant now as it ever was.
This re-release of the original 1953 recording stars Robert Donat, whose commanding performance as the Archbishop, alongside a full cast, is widely celebrated.
Public Domain (P)2009 Naxos AudioBooks
Could really get a picture of the reasons why Beckett was assassinated and the guilt of the King..
The point where Henry II curses about the archbishop and asks why nobody would kill him.. I can feel that moment..
Very clearly spoken throughout, fantastic work..
Enjoyed it very much, a favourite in my collection..
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