The Theater: New Plays on Broadway, Oct. 17, 1960

Becket (translated from the French of Jean Anouilh by Lucienne Hill) seems to fascinate writers as a stage figure: Tennyson, T. S. Eliot, now Anouilh. He also rather tends to defeat them: Anouilh's long play has the weaknesses without the high compensatory moments of Murder in the Cathedral. In its 22 scenes, Becket offers all manner of effective pageantry and colloquy and confrontation, even of wenching and horseplay; it runs up and down a whole verbal keyboard, playful trills and prayerful chords and swelling harmonies.

But in this story of Henry II and his...

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