In Extremis: The Story of Abelard and Heloise
From: Tuesday, 15th May 2007
To: Saturday, 26 May 2007
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In Extremis uses the love affair of Abelard and Heloise to explore the relationships between logic and religion, humanism and fundamentalism, faith and power. Set in 12th century France, the play focuses on the exploration of two types of Christianity - the mysticism and austerity of Bernard of Clairvaux, and the challenge set by a new rational philosophy extolled by the erudite, sensual and dangerously independent, Peter Abelard.
21 May 2007
This is a short and very welcome return for Howard Brenton’s vigorous and compelling re-telling of the Abelard and Heloise medieval love story. Oliver Boot and Sally Bretton repeat last September’s performances in the leading roles, and John Bett is again the apoplectic William of Champeaux, exasperated by Peter Abelard’s humanist proto-Protestantism, and Colin Hurley a plumply and hilariously reprised King Louis VI.
Jack Laskey is back, too, giving an outstanding performance as Bernard of Clairvaux, the masochistic, foot-licking ascetic Cistercian abbot who is Abelard’s intellectual duellist in the struggle to establish a church that anticipates the Renaissance and pits the power of mystery against the logical arguments of philosophy.
New to the cast are Eleanor Bron as the unruffled Mother Superior in the nunnery where the lovers have “honeymoon” sex under the altar, and Paul Copley as Heloise’s fussing guardian, whose band of agricultural ruffians in...
Latest User Review
QuincyMD - 23 May 2007:
A bawdy romp through 12th Century France or a searing insight into the depths of despair that religion can drive people to? If the play itself can not make up its mind then how is the audiance supposed to?...
Oliver Boot (Abelard)
Sally Bretton (Heloise)
John Bett (William of Chapeaux)
Eleanor Bron (Helene)
Pascale Burgess (Denise)
Tas Emiabata (Company)
Michael Gould (Alberic)
Colin Hurley (Louis VI)
Jack Laskey (Bernard of Clairvaux)
William Mannering (Lotholf)
Niamh McCann (Berthode)
Simon Muller (Cousin)
Rhiannon Oliver (Francine)
Andrew Vincent (Cousin)