A classic play exploring the power struggle between Church and State is returning to Griffith this weekend.
Griffith and Regional Association of the Performing Arts Inc. (GRAPA) major production for 2017 is TS Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral, which recounts of this story from the time of Archbishop Thomas Becket’s return to Canterbury, to his subsequent terrible death at the hands of the King’s knights.
The story tells us of the feud between two men who were once the best of friends.
GRAPA will be staging this performance in St Alban the Martyr Cathedral in Griffith with the permission of Fr. Rob Harris. Rev. Harris is delighted to have the story told in this way in the Cathedral. Within the play Thomas addresses the people of Canterbury and Fr. Rob is joining the cast to deliver it.
Bishop Rob Gillion will join the cast for the performance on Saturday 18th, to the excitement of the cast.
The play was performed twenty years ago at the same venue by GRAPA.
“But this play has an entirely different cast and a very fresh feel”, says director Stella Dougherty.
“And we very grateful that Fr Rob is allowing us his church to perform this very classic play.”
“We also have a young group of actors who are doing a great job in dual roles. They have taken to this play, surprising us with their research and enthusiasm.”
Bernie Maxwell, who plays Thomas Becket, said “understanding the politics, religion and Royal hierarchy of the time has been crucial to the presentation of the play to be true to the story of Thomas Becket.”
Mr Maxwell said although the play was set in the 12th century, it provided commentary on the rise of Facism occurring in the world at the time the play was written in the late 1930s.
“It’s a common theatrical tactic to comment on the present but set the play in the past”.
Ms Dougherty said the theme of taking and keeping power remains relevant today.
After having one of their most busiest and successful years, performing “Galah” in three states, the cast and play received nominations for Best Play, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and was given gongs for Best Actor - Bernie Maxwell, Best Supporting Actress – Bonnie Owen.
Stella Dougherty received an award for direction at Seymour in Victoria.
“Murder in the Cathedral” will be performed at St Alban the Martyr, Griffith on Saturday 18th November, Thursday 23rd, Friday 24th, And Saturday 25th November 2017 at 8pm.
Tickets at the door: Adult $25, Cons. $20, Student $15, primary school children get in for free.