By John Baker
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Light Shining in Buckinghamshire

This article is over 9 years, 1 months old
Issue 2451

Light Shining in Buckinghamshire

Hurry to the National Theatre’s production of Caryl Churchill’s classic play about the English Revolution.

It depicts this great political and social upheaval in the way it’s participants understood it.

They put forward deeply felt political demands, but often justified them with biblical text and saw them through a religious lens.

In the play we witness ordinary people’s remarkable transformation, as they participate in the struggle for their own liberation.

The main focus of the play is 1649, when King Charles I has already been beheaded.

So it looks at the clash between the rising merchant class, headed by Oliver Cromwell, and radicals and ordinary people who took part in the struggle.

The high point of this were the famous Putney Debates.

This production dramatically evokes what it was to be a revolutionary Digger or Ranter – and the bitter price paid at the ruling class’ hands when our side didn’t manage to finish the revolution. 

Written by Caryl Churchill
National Theatre,  
London SE1 9PX.    
Until 22 June
Tickets from £15
nationaltheatre.org.uk

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