Thomas Becket’s trial & escape from Northampton Castle: local theatre group to mark 850th anniversary

Northampton’s Masque Theatre are putting on a performance of “Becket” by Jean Anouilh to mark the 850th anniversary of the trial of Thomas Becket at Northampton Castle.

Photography by Lex McGee -

The Great Hall – Photograph by Lex McKee.

The performance will at held at the Guildhall in the atmospheric Great Hall between Wednesday the 8th and Saturday the 11th October 2014.

It was during his trial that Becket fled from the castle and made his way to France pausing, as legend has it, to take a sip of water from the spring, now Becket’s well, at the end of Derngate by Becket’s Park.

The play was made into a film starring Peter O’Toole & Richard Burton in 1964, and reveals the tensions between kingship and the church, Norman values imposed on the Saxons and the struggle between King Henry II and Becket’s lust for life.

Becket had to juggle the responsibilities of Chancellor and Archbishop of Canterbury. The clashing of the two roles culminated in Becket’s tragic murder in Canterbury Cathedral in December 1170.

Tickets are available from Masque’s website.

Becket screen

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