Photos Reviews

Murder in the Cathedral

March 1977

by T S Eliot, directed by Mary Jones


Chorus of the Women of Canterbury: -

Cantoris - Miranda Leger, Margaret Butt, Sally Parr, Rosemary Stephenson, Lynn Trout

Deceni - Fenella Roberts, Rachel Darnley-Smith, June Dingle, Brenda Russell & Gillian Bates

First Priest - Ian Bond

Second Priest - Michael Steer

Third Priest - Richard Ormond

Messenger - David Gill

Thomas - Philip Jones

First Tempter - Tony Yates

Second Tempter - Gordon Halliday

Third Tempter - Robert Fynn

Fourth Tempter - Rodney Dingle

Attendants - Adam Gill, David Gill & Jonathan Rees

First Knight (Reginald FitzUrse) - Tony Yates

Second Knight (Hugh de Morville) - Gordon Halliday

Third Knight (William de Traci) - Robert Fynn

Fourth Knight (Richard Brito) - Rodney Dingle

Production Team:

Producer - Mary Jones

Stage - Anne Bacon, Bryan Stephenson, Paul Stephenson, Adam Gill, David Gill & Jonathan Rees

Lighting - Stephen Trotter

Sound - Nigel Smith

Publicity - Fenella Roberts

Wardrobe - Mary Jones


From Exmouth & East Devon Journal:

...Costumes were excellent, lighting very effective and background music superb....

Excellent Murder in the Cathedral at St. Margaret's Church

St. Margaret's Church, Topsham, was the ideal setting for the Estuary Players' very professional production of T. S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral at the weekend.

The Estuary Players was born out of the success of 'Topsham Tapestry' in 1975 and this production was decided on to commemorate both Jubilee Year and the centenary of St. Margaret's Church.

The play is the story of the events leading up to the murder of Thomas a Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, in Canterbury cathedral in the year 1170.

Philip Jones played the part of Thomas and gave an excellent performance as the dignified archbishop who resisted temptations put in his way by the king's followers.

a Becket's tempters, who later doubled as knights, were realistically played by Tony Yates, Gordon Halliday, Robert Fynn and Rodney Dingle.

After a Becket's death, these four, led by the forceful Tony Yates, (Reginald FitzUrse) justified the murder to the people of Canterbury.

Gordon Halliday as Hugh de Morville, the scatesman among them, particularly suited his part. Once or twice I found Robert Fynn as William de Tracy difficult to hear, but this was more the fault of the acoustics in the church than his enunciation.

The chorus of the Women of Canterbury was also good, particularly Miranda Leger, the leader of Cantoris, and Fenella Roberts, leader of Decani.

Costumes were excellent, lighting very effective and background music superb. Mary Jones must certainly be congratulated for an ambitious but excellent production.

The only drawback - the church was too cold for the performance which went straight through without an interval.

- Reviewed by: Mary Evans


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