Stephen Boxer as William Tyndale (left) and Oliver Ford Davies as Lancelot Andrewes (right).
Photo credit: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/theatre-reviews/8877461/Written-on-the-Heart-RSC-Swan-Theatre-Stratford-upon-Avon-review.html
Cut and pasted from the RSC website:
The Royal Shakespeare Company celebrates the 400th anniversary of the making of the King James Bible with a new play by acclaimed playwright David Edgar.
Across an 80 year divide, two men (William Tyndale and Lancelot Andrewes) 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.
Written on the Heart plays at the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, until 10 March 2012.
Follow the link for more details:
This is not a theatre review; it is a heartfelt and personal reaction to the play. I saw it on Friday 30 December.
This play was the story of how the Bible was translated into English, my mother tongue. I have taken the fact that I can read the Bible in English for granted. But, having seen this piece, I now realise that the Bible in English was a long time coming - people were denied access to the Bible in their mother tongue for many centuries. I realise how many people died for it (Tyndale, one of the first translators of the Bible into English, and on whose translation the King James Bible is firmly based, was burnt for heresy; his crime being that he wanted to translate the Bible into English so that everyman could have access to it). I realise how every single word and nuance was considered, debated, contested and fought over. What this made me think was that we all need to be much more appreciative of the things that we have in today's modern world that were not available to our ancestors. The Bible in English did not fall from the sky. People fought for and died so that we could have it. I am ashamed to say I had never really thought about this until I saw this piece.