LUDLOW’S St. Laurence’s Church, “The Cathedral of the Marches”, has long been a venue for concerts and recitals and will host a major production next week telling a historic story.

The recent removal of the Victorian wooden pews has created a multi-purpose performance space.

The production will be a large-scale community-based theatre project, Jean Anouilh’s iconic play “Becket” – or “ The Honour of God “, performed by the acclaimed Two Score Theatre Company and directed by internationally renowned opera singer, Kim Begley, also a former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Anouilh’s masterpiece, the original game of thrones, explores the struggle between the state, in the form of King Henry II and the church, led by Thomas Becket, whom Henry appointed as Archbishop of Canterbury, and the events which led to his bloody murder and martyrdom. “Becket”, presented in support of Hope House charity, will involve sixty 60 performers.

A score has been commissioned from composer Stephen Dunachie who is writing a soundscape for a group of 15 specially selected local singers and musicians. Central to the composition will be the newly restored Snetzler organ. Local artisans will undertake the construction of the set, costumes and props.

Two Score Theatre company is Ludlow based and has a record of presenting innovative productions in the town and on tour, including Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Macbeth, The Merry Wives Of Windsor and All The World’s A Stage, a collections of scenes celebrating the work of the bard, also directed by Kim Begley.

It is intended that “Becket” will mark the beginning of a revival of the Ludlow Festival for a twenty-first century audience. The first of four performances is next Wednesday and it runs until Saturday, February 1. Performances are at 7.30pm and tickets at £15 are available from Ludlow Assembly Rooms.