Written On The Heart
This show has now closed, click here for a listing of current and future London shows
Previewed 19 April 2012 - opened 23 April 2012 - closed 19 May 2012 at the Duchess Theatre in London
The Royal Shakespeare Company presents David Edgar's play Written on the Heart in London directed by Gregory Doran.
Across an 80 year divide, two men translate the word of God into the English tongue. For one, it means death at the stake. For the other, it could mean an archbishop's mitre. After almost a century of unrest, the King James Bible was intended to end the violent upheavals of the English reformation. But deep-seated conflicts force a leading translator to confront the betrayal of his youthful religious ideals, for the sake of social peace.
"The King James Bible celebrated its 400th anniversary last year and lo, there was a flurry of stage productions paying tribute. If this one by David Edgar seems a little late off the blocks it's because it's already been playing in Stratford-upon-Avon and has just received a West End transfer. It's debatable, though, whether it really is a tribute... What this robust and arresting work does is demonstrate how the King James Bible was a product of its age, a compromise between different factions of the Reformation and how deeply indebted it was to earlier English translations... The religious/historic subject matter might not excite everyone but what could have been a dry, scholarly work is here, in Gregory Doran's vivid production, alive and full of debate." The Daily Express
"It is a pleasure to welcome into the West End a play that is at once so literate and so dramatically compelling... At Stratford, the production - directed with a characteristic lucid empathy and narrative skill by Greg Doran, the RSC's artistic director designate - was performed on a thrust stage. Thanks to a spirited performance from a populous cast, it proves just as involving here, framed by a proscenium arch... A play that combines intelligent laughter with its powerful sense of literally burning issues. Go." The Independent
"David Edgar's meaty new play, Written On The Heart... 17th Century clerics split hairs and come to blows about whether a translation of the Bible should say 'love' or 'charity', 'delectable' or 'very pleasant', 'confessing' or 'acknowledging', 'idols' or 'images' in order to create a text that any ploughboy can read... Greg Doran, the next artistic c director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, stages a handsome and splendidly performed production, which succeeds in making a demanding history lesson dramatically satisfying. A small miracle of sorts." The Mail on Sunday
Written On The Heart in London at the Duchess Theatre previewed from 19 April 2012, opened on 23 April 2012 and closed 19 May 2012 (was booking up to 21 July 2012).