Much like his Antigone, this play takes an already-familiar story and reimagines it to tell the story that Anouilh wants to tell. He dreamed of resuscitating the Europe of old. His famous slogan, Europe "from the Atlantic to the Urals," conspicuously left out Britain, a country that aided in liberating France from the Germans paraphrased from Wikipedia. The monk refuses to speak to Becket in French, answering his questions in English.
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However, there are one or two similarities in the interpretation. In the introduction to the play, Anouilh explained that he based it on a chapter of an old book he had bought because its green binding looked good on his shelves. He and his wife read the 30 pages about Thomas Becket, and she urged him to write a play about Thomas. He did so, finishing the first part in only 15 days. It was not until he showed the finished play to a friend that he found out the old book he had based it on was historically incorrect in certain important aspects.
Having built his play on Becket being Saxon when he was actually a Norman whose family was from near Caen and was called Becquet, Bequet or Becket in Old Norman , Anouilh could not recast the play to accord with historical facts, so he decided to let it stand. Aspects of the content that can safely be considered true are the conflicts between England and France, church and state, and the outline biography of Becket.
James Theatre. The production was nominated for five Tony Awards and won four, including Best Play. The play later transferred to the Royale Theatre and then to the Hudson Theatre. In fact, Quinn left the production to work on a film, and director Glenville suggested a road tour with Olivier as Henry.
Olivier happily acceded, and Arthur Kennedy took on the role of Becket, with Olivier playing Henry, both for the tour and a brief return to Broadway. The play later transferred to the Globe Theatre. Additional scenes were written by Edward Anhalt for the film. Anhalt won an Academy Award for his screenplay. The film introduced a somewhat fictionalized plot element not in the original play. He visited Canterbury and decided the Becket story would be a good vehicle. Archived from the original on 26 June Retrieved Time Magazine.
Marie-Magdeleine worked the night shifts in the music-hall orchestras and sometimes accompanied stage presentations, affording Anouilh ample opportunity to absorb the dramatic performances from backstage. He often attended rehearsals and solicited the resident authors to let him read scripts until bedtime. He first tried his hand at playwriting here, at the age of 12, though his earliest works do not survive. Jean-Louis Barrault , later a major French director, was a pupil there at the same time and recalls Anouilh as an intense, rather dandified figure who hardly noticed a boy some two years younger than himself.