St-Tom's Players


Established 2000

Director: Dermot Killingley

9 Rectory Drive, Newcastle upon Tyne NE3 1XT, England


Latest Production: Murder in the Cathedral by T. S. Eliot

For pictures, rehearsal and dress rehearsal photographs of this production, see below

This production took place at the Church of St. Thomas the Martyr, Haymarket, Newcastle upon Tyne between 13th and 15th May 2004. St. Tom’s Players thank all who supported this event, most of the proceeds of which have been donated to St. Oswald’s Hospice, as follows:

Donations from ticket sales: £1,000.00 Donations via the programme and programme sales: £825.99 Donations in collecting boxes: 23.97 Sale of Sarah Mant’s donated watercolour originals used for the background projected pictures: £40 Sale of refreshments, the cost of which had been donated by St. Tom’s Players: £179.79 Total donations from the event: £2,069.75 St. Tom’s Players also support the Church of St. Thomas the Martyr. This church is open during the day for anyone to enter for rest and spiritual refreshment.

A new production will take place in 2005 and newcomers will be welcome

The Committee are now deciding between A Man for all Seasons by Robert Bolt and The Crucible by Arthur Miller.

Who are we and what are our aims?

St. Tom’s Players perform under the auspices of the Church of St. Thomas the Martyr, Haymarket, Newcastle. The group was formed in 2001. We come from many parts of Tyneside and Northumberland. Ages range from single figures to the seventies. We come from many religious backgrounds or none, although many of us are churchgoers of various denominations. Some are trained actors, others are beginners. Our aims are:

To perform challenging plays in a church setting

To provide an artistic and spiritual experience for performers and audience

To raise money for charity

To use the possibilities of the church setting with little or no additional scenery and a minimum of properties and effects

To give full prominence to the text

To maximise the amount given to charity, expenses are kept to a minimum, and the cast and production team are entirely unpaid. St. Tom’s Players have no membership fee, but actors and others are asked to buy their own copies of the play. For our first three productions, copies were donated by Grevatt and Grevatt.

To make enquiries or for more information e-mail:

Committee Members
Dermot Killingley, Jennifer Brown, Judith Kling, Rachel Smith, John Pearson

Siew-Yue Killingley is the Literary Adviser, but not a Committee member

History and Funding of St. Tom’s Players

St Tom’s Players was set up with a private interest-free loan. This loan enabled us to pay for the initial props and costumes for the first production. Through the kindness of members of the company and others, donations of free services (especially lighting and advertising space) and costumes have kept costs down.

At first we met in the Newcastle University Anglican Chaplaincy under the kind auspices of the Chaplain Michael Haslam. We soon moved to our permanent home at the Church of St. Thomas the Martyr by kind permission of the Master, Kit Widdows.

Apart from our main financial aim of raising money for charity, we make voluntary contributions from the proceeds of our productions to St. Thomas’ Church. The church is an inner-city church which keeps its doors open to all and it also houses a One World shop. We also hope to earn enough to finance new productions and to repay the original interest-free loan eventually.

The author Siew-Yue Killingley kindly waived licensing fees for the three performances of her works.

Previous productions (in St. Thomas’ Church, Newcastle upon Tyne, unless otherwise stated)

March 2001: Northumbrian Passion Play by Siew-Yue Killingley
November 2001: Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. Adapted, with Embellishments by Siew-Yue Killingley
May 2002: Northumbrian Passion Play by Siew-Yue Killingley at St. George’s Church, Morpeth, in collaboration with Churches Together in Morpeth
May 2004: Murder in the Cathedral by T. S. Eliot

These four productions and Siew-Yue Killingley’s The Suffering Servant at All Saints’ Church, Newcastle in February 2004 raised a total of over £3,930.96 for St. Oswald’s Hospice (Registered Charity No. 503386). Included in that sum were £50 from the sale of the original projected pictures for The Pilgrim's Progress, kindly donated by Susan Horsfall and £40 from the sale of the original projected pictures for Murder in the Cathedral, kindly donated by Sarah Mant.
See photographs from these productions below.

Click here to find out more about St. Oswald’s Hospice and its work.

St. Oswald’s logo
Registered Charity No. 503386
St. Oswald’s provides vital hospice care for local adults and children

If you wish to find out how to make a donation, e-mail:

Forthcoming Production: Murder in the Cathedral by T. S. Eliot

The last temptation is the greatest treason:
To do the right deed for the wrong reason.
Murder in the Cathedral, Part I.

Poster picture: The murder of Becket © Siew-Yue Killingley 2003

murder of Becket

Come and see this play, presented by a committed, enthusiastic team, directed by Dermot Killingley, with Bill Miller as Thomas Becket, supported by a talented cast (see below).

Where? St. Thomas’ Church, Haymarket, Newcastle upon Tyne.
This church is dedicated to Thomas Becket, the central figure of Eliot’s play.

When? Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 13th-15th May 2004.

How? Tickets £5.00 each or 4 for £15.00 available Tuesdays to Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at
One World Shop, St. Thomas’ Church, tel: (0191) 261 2284

For further information e-mail:

Chorus of Women of Canterbury: Jennifer Brown, Karen Elliott, Helen Hobbs, Judith Kling, Gillian Swanson, Sakeenat Tijani; Understudies for Chorus: Marlane Cuthbert; Rachel Smith; Archbishop Thomas Becket: Bill Miller; First Knight and First Tempter: Chris Mullinder; Second Knight and Second Tempter: David Moore; Third Knight and Third Tempter: John Pearson; Fourth Knight and Fourth Tempter: Ian Dawson; First Priest: Dermot Killingley; Second Priest: Alex Huggins-Cooper; Third Priest: Alistair Gilfillan; Messenger: Simon Marshall; Attendant: Robert Baker;
Singers: Jane Freeman, Rachel Smith, Janet Storrie, Kenneth Wright; Trombonist: Mike Bell.

Production team
Director: Dermot Killingley; Assistant director: Christopher Mullinder; Chorus coach: Marlane Cuthbert; Costumes director and wardrobe mistress: Joan Merrick; Lighting: Rob Davidson; Projected pictures: Sarah Mant; Stage manager: Humphrey Graham; Prompter: Anne Lambert; Literary adviser: Siew-Yue Killingley; Programme editor and programme donations to St. Oswald’s organizer: Siew-Yue Killingley; Front of house: Stewart Foster (Manager); Lynne Chisholm, Monica Goldfinch, Robin Herron, Carol Meldrum, Dorothy Postle, Janet Storrie, Alfhild Wellbourne and others; Booking agent: Marion McMahon; Poster picture and design: Siew-Yue Killingley; Publicity: John Pearson, Elspeth Robertson.

St. Tom’s Players are grateful to St. Oswald’s Hospice and St. Thomas’ Church for support and encouragement. St. Tom’s Players are also grateful to all those who made donations to St. Oswald’s via the programme, to those unable to come to the play who donated ticket money, and to all who donated goods and services for the production.

The watercolour originals used for the projected pictures for Murder in the Cathedral (see immediately below) were kindly donated by Sarah Mant for sale in favour of St. Oswald’s Hospice during the three performances. They raised a total of £40.00 for St. Oswald’s.

If you would like to take part in future productions, or help in any way e-mail:

Projected pictures for the production of Murder in the Cathedral

Christmas Day © Sarah Mant 2004

The nativity

The day of St. Stephen First Martyr © Sarah Mant 2004
Stephen is stoned to death while praying for his murderers

St. Stephen

The day of St. John the Apostle © Sarah Mant 2004
St. John writes his Gospel while the Devil tries to steal his ink

St. John

The day of the Holy Innocents © Sarah Mant 2004
Herod causes the murder of the Holy Innocents

Holy Innocents

The play

T. S. Eliot (1888—1965) was one of the twentieth century’s greatest writers in English. Murder in the Cathedral, first performed in Canterbury in 1935, is one of his most popular works. It has the varied rhythms, the evocative and sometimes bizarre imagery, and the exuberance of his best poems, without the obscurity.

While telling the story of the murder of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1170, it explores the meaning of martyrdom, and the nature of human action in relation to the will and to events that the will cannot control. Most of it is in verse, and the story is presented symbolically rather than realistically. Within the framework of historical events, it uses elements of Greek tragedy, Christian liturgy, the political speech and the detective story to build up an intense drama which focuses on the moral significance of actions rather than their outward appearance.

Becket’s tomb at Canterbury became a place of pilgrimage, celebrated in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Pilgrim Street in Newcastle is part of the pilgrimage route, and the church of St. Thomas the Martyr, where the play will be performed, is dedicated to Becket.

The action of the play takes place in Canterbury in December, A.D. 1170. Each of the two parts begins in or near the Archbishop’s hall, and later moves to the Cathedral.

Historical synopsis

Henry II, who reigned from 1154 to 1189, was the first of the Angevin or Plantagenet kings of England, descended from the Counts of Anjou in western France. Descended through his mother Matilda from the Norman kings of England, he gained the crown by force of arms as much as by right of birth. His power extended over much of France as well as England; but England had been torn apart by two rival claimants to the throne, Matilda and her cousin Stephen. To restore order, Henry needed the support both of the barons and of the Church.

Henry chose for his chancellor Thomas Becket (1120-1170), the son of a Norman merchant in London. Thomas excelled as an administrator and politician, as a military commander on the king’s campaigns in France, and in aristocratic pastimes such as jousting, falconry and chess. He enjoyed the favour of the king, and the magnificence that went with it, using his wealth in extravagant acts of generosity. In 1162, Henry chose him as Archbishop of Canterbury. Though he was only in minor orders (that is, a member of the clergy but not a full priest), and many in the Church considered him too worldly for a bishop, the Pope eventually ratified the king’s choice.

The king had, no doubt, intended that his friend would be as useful in curbing the privileges and feudal powers of the Church as he had been in controlling the barons. But Thomas devoted himself to the Church with unexpected zeal, and the king soon regarded him as an enemy. In 1164, at Clarendon near Salisbury, the king made Thomas accept a set of rules restricting the powers of the Church and asserting the king’s authority over it. Later that year, at Northampton, the king put Thomas on trial for insubordination, and confiscated his property. Thomas fled in disguise to France, to seek the help of the French king and the Pope.

In June 1170, King Henry had his fifteen-year-old son crowned by the Archbishop of York, to rule in England while he himself was in France. This was another insult to Thomas, since coronations were the privilege of Canterbury. Nevertheless, after many negotiations and confrontations in France, the king restored Thomas to his favour in July 1170, though he refused to mark the reconciliation with a kiss of peace. Thomas returned to England on December 1st, but hostilities were by no means over; meanwhile the Pope, at Thomas’ instigation, had suspended the Archbishop of York and eight other bishops.

On December 29th four knights from the king’s court in France entered the Archbishop’s hall, accusing him of treachery, and told the monks to keep him there. They returned with reinforcements and occupied the cathedral complex. They may have intended only to capture Thomas, but in the end they killed him, in a side chapel of the cathedral. In time, Thomas was seen as a martyr; and the king, defeated in his struggle with the Church, did penance at his tomb. Canterbury became the greatest place of pilgrimage in England, celebrated in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Pilgrim Street in Newcastle is part of the pilgrimage route, and until 1830 a chapel of St Thomas the Martyr stood near the Tyne Bridge. It was replaced by the present Church of St Thomas the Martyr, in which the play will be performed.

History and the play

All the historical events mentioned above are mentioned in the play. The four knights appear, and are named: Reginald Fitz-Urse, Hugh de Morville, William de Traci and Richard Brito. However, apart from their role as murderers they have nothing to do with the real bearers of these names, of whom little is known. The actors who play them appear first in the guise of four tempters, who represent four choices facing Thomas now that he has been reconciled with the king; and the characters of the knights are based on the four temptations, not on any historical persons. They and Thomas are the only named historical figures in the play, for the narration of history is not Eliot’s main concern. The other characters are nameless: three priests, a messenger who makes one brief appearance, and a chorus of women of Canterbury. It is the women who carry most of the poetic weight of the play, and deliver much of its message. They tell us that as ‘small folk who live among small things’ they cannot control events but can only witness them; and they help us, and also Thomas, to learn that events do not depend on the individuals who appear to control them, but are part of a pattern which is fully known only by God.

Most of the play is in verse; but there are two long prose passages which present contrasting interpretations of Thomas. At the end of Part 1, in his last sermon, Thomas himself foresees his death and accepts it as the will of God, to which his own will must be completely subjected. The true martyr, he says, ‘no longer desires anything for himself, not even the glory of being a martyr.’ Near the end of Part 2, the four knights step into the present to justify the murder. Thomas, they tell us, was not only treacherous and arrogant but a fanatic whose ultimate ambition was to become a martyr. Every performance of Murder in the Cathedral is a contest between these two interpretations.


Though Murder in the Cathedral was written to be performed in the Chapter House at Canterbury, not in the cathedral itself, it is in many ways modelled on a church service. Like a church service, it can be enhanced by music, as Eliot clearly intended.

One of the poems spoken by the women of Canterbury is modelled on the Dies Irae (‘Day of wrath’), the menacing description of the day of judgment which is sung in the Mass for the Dead, and whose tune has been borrowed by many composers. Eliot indicates that the Dies Irae should be sung in Latin while the women are speaking. This is one of several deliberate anachronisms in the play, for the Dies Irae was written many years after the death of Thomas Becket. Following this example, I have used music at various points in the play, some of which may not have been heard in Thomas’ time, including carol tunes from as late as the fifteenth century. This music is played by a solo trombone. The trombone, then known as the sackbut, was much used in medieval church music.

In the brief ritual passage near the beginning of Part 2 which marks the passage of the days from Christmas to December 29th, the day of the martyrdom, Eliot indicates that biblical texts prescribed in the Mass for each day, the introit antiphons, are to be sung. In this production, these antiphons are sung by a small choir, using the plainsong melodies edited by the Benedictine monks of Solesmes, France, who led the modern revival of medieval church music.

Rehearsal photographs of the production of Murder in the Cathedral

Part I: Chorus of Women of Canterbury © John Wallis 2004

Chorus, Part I

‘Here let us stand, close by the cathedral. Here let us wait.’
Left to right: Karen Elliott, Judith Kling, Gillian Swanson, Helen Hobbs, Sakeenat Tijani

Thomas Becket with the four tempters © John Wallis 2004

Becket with tempters

Left to right: Third Tempter (John Pearson), Fourth Tempter (Ian Dawson), Thomas Becket (Bill Miller),
Second Tempter (David Moore); front: First Tempter (Christopher Mullinder)

Thomas Becket with priests, tempters and knights © John Wallis 2004

male speaking roles

Left to right: Messenger (Simon Marshall), Third Knight (John Pearson), Fourth Knight (Ian Dawson), First Knight (Christopher Mullinder), Third Priest (Alistair Gilfillan), Second Priest (Alex Huggins-Cooper),
First Priest (Dermot Killingley), Second Knight (David Moore); front: Thomas Becket (Bill Miller)

Part II: The knights come to attack Thomas Becket © John Wallis 2004

Becket with knights

‘We come for the King’s justice, we come with swords.’
Left to right: First Knight (Christopher Mullinder), Third Knight (John Pearson),
Thomas Becket (Bill Miller), Fourth Knight (Ian Dawson), Second Knight (David Moore)

Part II: Chorus of Women of Canterbury © John Wallis 2004

Chorus, Part II

‘We praise Thee, O God, for Thy glory displayed in all the creatures of the earth,
In the snow, in the rain, in the wind, in the storm; in all of Thy creatures, both the hunters and the hunted.’

Left to right: Rachel Smith (Understudy), Karen Elliott, Judith Kling, Gillian Swanson, Helen Hobbs, Sakeenat Tijani

Grateful thanks are due to John Wallis for kind permission to reproduce the above photographs
from rehearsals of the production.

Dress rehearsal photographs of the production of Murder in the Cathedral

Interlude: The Archbishop preaches on Christmas morning © Siew-Yue Killingley 2004

Christmas sermon

‘So then, He gave to His disciples peace, but not peace as the world gives.’
Left to right: First Priest (Dermot Killingley), Thomas Becket (Bill Miller), Attendant (Robert Baker)

Part II: The day of St. John the Apostle © Siew-Yue Killingley 2004

First and Second Priest

Since St. Stephen a day: and the day of St. John the Apostle.
In the midst of the congregation he opened his mouth.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard,
Which we have seen with our eyes, and our hands have handled
Of the word of life; that which we have seen and heard
Declare we unto you.
In the midst of the congregation.

left to right: First Priest (Dermot Killingley),
Second Priest (Alex Huggins-Cooper)

Part II: The knights scold Thomas Becket and blaspheme against him © Siew-Yue Killingley 2004

The knights scold Thomas

‘Saving your ambition is what you mean,
Saving your pride, envy and spleen.’

Left to right: Third Knight (John Pearson), First Knight (Christopher Mullinder),
Second Knight (David Moore), Fourth Knight (Ian Dawson)

Part II: Chorus of Women of Canterbury © Siew-Yue Killingley 2004

Chorus, Part II

‘I have smelt them, the death-bringers, senses are quickened
By subtile forebodings; I have heard
Fluting in the night-time, fluting and owls, have seen at noon
Scaly wings slanting over, huge and ridiculous.’

Left to right: Karen Elliott, Jennifer Brown, Gillian Swanson, Judith Kling, Helen Hobbs, Sakeenat Tijani

The Suffering Servant: Dialogues with Jesus

In 2002 the Diocese of Newcastle asked Siew-Yue Killingley to write a piece to be performed by St. Tom’s Players on Racial Justice Sunday. She composed The Suffering Servant: Dialogues with Jesus, which was performed on 8th September 2002 at St. Nicholas’ Cathedral, Newcastle upon Tyne, as part of a special service to mark the day.

The Suffering Servant is a poem sequence spoken by Jesus in dialogue with three Voices representing ourselves in the community. The Voices have no fixed identity and sometimes the same Voice expresses different viewpoints. The sequence highlights what the teachings of Jesus and the church can tell us about traditional enmities and how God’s love can help us overcome them.

The members of St. Tom’s Players who took part were Christopher Mullinder (Performance Director), Jennifer Brown, John Pearson, and Christopher Moad.

Christopher Mullinder had also played the rôle of Jesus in both performances of the Northumbrian Passion Play. He directed The Suffering Servant again in another performance at a service in All Saint’s Church, Newcastle, on 8th February 2004. The actors taking part with him were Jennifer Brown, John Pearson, and Ian Dawson. A retiring collection of £61.90 was made for St. Oswald’s Hospice after the service.

St. Oswald’s logo
Registered Charity No. 503386
St. Oswald’s provides vital hospice care for local adults and children

Northumbrian Passion Play Photographs

In the cold sea-fretted dawn of Northumberland,
With cold birds calling lonely in Lindisfarne
And sounding cold echoes from the coves
Of distant northern coasts, the Word came.
Northumbrian Passion Play, Act 1, Prologue and Act 5

All the backdrops except the one for the Crucifixion were designed by Susan Horsfall and painted by her, assisted by David Horsfall and Tracey Orchard. The one for the Crucifixion was designed by Dermot Killingley and painted by Derek Browell.

Act 1, Sc 1: Paul tells Everyman and Everywoman
that they have done their best for Judas
© Donald Dixon 2002

paul, everyman and everywoman

left to right: Paul (Dermot Killingley),
Everyman (Christopher Moad), Everywoman (Shirley Forster)

Act 1, Sc. 2: Judas is persuaded to betray Jesus
© Donald Dixon 2002

judas tempted

left to right: Judas (Charles Gardiner),
Priest (Ron Forster), Scribe-Pharisee (John Pearson)

Act 2: The Prodigal Son (as told by Everyman to Pilate)
© Donald Dixon 2002


Jesus as Dad tells the older brother Steve that all he wants
is for him and his brother Keith to be happy. John and another
disciple look on while Scribe-Pharisee and Priest listen from above.

Left to right: Steve (Charles Gardiner), Jesus (Christopher Mullinder),
Disciple (Andrew Cleverley), Keith (David Graham), John (David Mayhew);
Above: Scribe-Pharisee (John Pearson), Priest (Ron Forster)

Act 3, Sc. 1: The Last Supper
© Donald Dixon 2002
last supper Behold this treasure of your truest Christ,
It is my true body, broken for you.
Take and eat this, in remembrance of me.

left to right: Disciple (Andrew Cleverley,
Peter (David Graham), John (David Mayhew),
Jesus (Christopher Mullinder), Judas (Charles Gardiner),
Thomas (Humphrey Graham), Disciple (John Pearson)

Act 4, Sc 1: Jesus before Pilate
© Donald Dixon 2002

jesus before pilate Speak! Where are you from?
I am Pilate, Roman Governor.
Will you not speak to me?

left to right: Roman Soldier (Steven Forster),
Jesus (Christopher Mullinder), Satan as Court Official
(Jared Johnson), Pilate (Humphrey Graham).

The basin and towel for Pilate to wash his hands after
condemning Jesus are on Pilate’s left.

Act 4, Sc. 1: The Crucifixion
© Donald Dixon 2002


Everywoman says of Mary:
‘Her rose stem has grown, a broken reed
Bruised in the wind and wounded on rood;’

Right: Mary (Lindy Conway) and John (David Mayhew) before the cross, and left to right: Everywoman (Shirley Forster), Second Thief (Andrew Cleverley), Jesus (Christopher Mullinder), First Thief (Jonny Carnell), Roman Soldier (Steven Forster), Roman Soldier (David Graham).

Act 5, Sc 3: Dance of the bearers of the flame of Pentecost
© Donald Dixon 2002

pentecost dance

Dancers left to right: Sarah Pearson, Fay Vivian;
the risen Christ (back to the scene) turns round
at the end of the dance to lead the players and the
audience in the Lord’s Prayer in different languages.

Left to right apart from dancers: Everyman (Christopher Moad), Disciple (John Pearson), John (David Mayhew), Mary (half-hidden behind dancer: Lindy Conway), Jesus (Christopher Mullinder), Mary Magdalene (Madeline Cleverley), Disciple (Donald Scott), Peter (David Graham), Disciple (Andrew Cleverley), Everywoman (Shirley Forster).

Act 5, Sc. 3: Curtain-call
© Donald Dixon 2002


Front, left to right: Flautist (Siew-Yue Killingley), Everyman (Christopher Moad), Paul (Dermot Killingley), Everywoman (Shirley Forster);
Back, left to right: Disciple (John Pearson), Thomas (Humphrey Graham), John (David Mayhew), False witness (Chris Anderson), Soldier (Steven Forster), Dancer (Sarah Pearson), Mary (Lindy Conway), Jesus (Christopher Mullinder), Mary Magdalene (Madeline Cleverley), Dancer (Fay Vivian), Disciple (Donald Scott), Pilate’s servant (Alistair Gilfillan), Pilate’s wife (Jennifer Brown), First Thief (Jonny Carnell), Peter (David Graham).

After First Night
© Donald Dixon 2002

dermot, siew-yue, roderick

Left to right: Dermot Killingley (director and Paul), Siew-Yue Killingley (author, choreographer, dance teacher and flautist), Roderick Oakes (composer);
The music was specially composed by Roderick Oakes for this production as well as for the 2001 Newcastle production.

Grateful thanks are due to Donald Dixon for kind permission to reproduce the above photographs from the Morpeth 2002 production.
The following were also part of the production team:
Annie Bolton, Theresa Brack, Liz Doyle, Lis Elders: Costumes; Margaret Johnson: Stage Manager; Peter Ozers: Lighting director; Cath Usher: Prompter

In the Newcastle production in St. Thomas’ Church, the cast and production team were as follows:
Barabbas: Derek Browell; Blind, mute and lame pilgrims: Alison Robson, Brenda Craddock, Kevin Robson; Caiaphas: Terry Wright; Disciples: Kevin Robson, Thom Freeth; Everyman: Christopher Moad; Everywoman: Angela Hawthorne; False witness: Charles Gardiner; Jesus: Christopher Mullinder; John: John Hawthorne; Judas: Derek Browell; Mary: Jennifer Brown; Mary Magdalene: Alison Robson; Moneychanger: Charles Gardiner; Paul: Alan Bill; Peter: David Johnson; Pilate: Humphrey Graham; Pilate’s servant: Matthew Browell; Pilate’s wife: Jennifer Brown; Priest: Philip Lockley; Roman soldiers: Thom Freeth, David Johnson; Sacrifice vendor: Jennifer Brown; Satan: Christopher Carr; Scribe-Pharisee: John Hawthorne; Thieves: Kevin Robson, Charles Gardiner; Thomas: Humphrey Graham; Woman in Caiaphas’s courtyard: Alison Robson; Woman servant in Caiaphas’s courtyard: Johanna Leinen; Dancers: Samantha Bramley, Johanna Leinen, Joshua McCartney, Erin Roe; Flautist Siew-Yue Killingley.

Assistant director: Christopher Carr; Backdrop designers: Susan Horsfall (Acts 1, 2 and 5), Dermot Killingley(Act 4); Choreographers: Tahira Aslam, Siew-Yue Killingley (Pentecost dance); Costume designer: Theresa Brack; Costume and property makers: Theresa Brack, Matthew Browell, Derek Browell, Christopher Carr, Brenda Craddock, Humphrey Graham, John Hawthorne, Johanna Leinen, Andrew Wright, Gabriele Wright; Carpentry: Dermot Killingley; Dressmaking Eunice Bill, Theresa Brack, Angela Hawthorne; Origami Christine Martin; Lighting director Rob Davidson; Painters: Derek Browell, David Horsfall, Susan Horsfall, Tracey Orchard; Prompter: Olivia Gwyne; Properties designer: Derek Browell

Northumbrian Passion Play

Northumbrian Passion Play by Siew-Yue Killingley is available from bookshops or direct from Grevatt & Grevatt.
‘...Siew-Yue Killingley’s Northumbrian Passion Play is in the best traditions of the English medieval mystery plays...This is a sensitive and delicate piece of work which deserves to take its place within a great tradition of English writing as an expression of Christian faith which is also literature of its time and of all time.’ Journal of Literature and Theology

Click here for Grevatt & Grevatt’s web-site and for fuller reviews of the play.

Rehearsal Photographs of The Pilgrim’s Progress

And I hear a wholesome text • plain as in plainsong:
‘When thou passest the waters • I will wade with thee;
And through the rough rivers • they shall never drown thee.’
The Pilgrim’s Progress, Act 3.

Act 1: Prologue © Dermot Killingley 2002

John Bunyan

This play it chalketh out before thine eyes
The man that seeks the everlasting prize.

John Bunyan (John Hawthorne)

Act 1: Christian flees from the City of Destruction
© Dermot Killingley 2001

Christian and his wife

Christian labours under his grievous burden and tries to flee from the City of Destruction. His wife cannot see his burden and tries to persuade him to stay:
‘Why, husband Christian, what is the matter with thee?’

Left to right: Christian (John Pearson),
Christian’s Wife (known as Christiana in Act 3) (Angela Hawthorne)

Act 1: Evangelist points the way to the Wicket Gate
© Dermot Killingley 2001

Evangelist and Christian

Fly to yonder Wicket Gate. Dost thou see it?

Left to right: Evangelist (Chris Moad), Christian (John Pearson)

Act 1: Christian falls into the Slough of Despond
© Dermot Killingley 2001

Slough of Despond

O, into what bog have I fallen in my heedlessness?

Christian (John Pearson)

Act 1: Worldly Wiseman misleads Christian and turns him away from the Wicket Gate
© Dermot Killingley 2001

Worldly Wiseman

How now, good fellow, whither away after this burdened manner?

Left to right: Christian (John Pearson), Worldly Wiseman (Dermot Killingley)

Act:The House of the Interpreter
© Dermot Killingley 2001


The Interpreter shows Christian profitable things:
‘Do not choke thyself with sweeping out sin
Dryly from thy heart with Legality’s law.
Moisten the dust first with the dew of grace,
That it might be swept and cleansed with ease.’

Left to right: Christian (John Pearson) and Interpreter (Christopher Mullinder)

Act 2: The House Beautiful
© Dermot Killingley 2001

Charity with Christian

Mistress Charity hands Christian a sword from the Lord’s armoury:
‘Take and use these weapons: a sword, shield, helmet, and the breastplate All-Prayer.’

Left to right: Christian (John Pearson), Mistress Charity (Jennifer Brown)

Act 3: Dance of the Lilies
© Dermot Killingley 2001

Dance of the Lilies Christian and Hopeful fall asleep by the River of Life which runs through meadows ‘laden with white lilies’.

Left to right:
Sarah Pearson, Fay Vivian

Act 3: Doubting Castle
© Dermot Killingley 2001

Giant Despair

Giant Despair threatens Christian and Hopeful with his crab-tree cudgel.

Giant Despair (Charles Gardiner)

Act 3: Master Great-heart and Christiana
© Dermot Killingley 2001

Great-heart and Christiana Master Great-Heart is sent by the Interpreter
to guide Christiana and her sons.

Left to right: Master Great-heart (Charles Gardiner), Christiana (Angela Hawthorne)

The members of the cast and production team not shown in the photographs are:
Christian’s younger son as a child: Andrew Wright; Christian’s elder son as a child: John Tiplady; Help: Thom Freeth; Good Will, keeper of the Wicket Gate: David Graham; Satan: Dermot Killingley; Sweeper miming Interpreter’s teachings: Fay Vivian; Sprinkler miming Interpreter’s teachings: Sarah Pearson; Angel: Dermot Killingley; Lions: John Tiplady, Andrew Wright; Timorous, a pilgrim: Christopher Moad; Mistrust, a pilgrim: David Graham; Watchful, porter at the House Beautiful: Christopher Mullinder; Apollyon, a monster in the Valley of Humiliation: Kevin Robson; Faithful, a pilgrim and former neighbour of Christian: Kevin Robson; Fiends: Sarah Pearson, John Tiplady, Fay Vivian, Andrew Wright; Malice, of Vanity: Dermot Killingley; No-good, of Vanity: Christopher Mullinder; Bystander in Vanity-Fair: Jennifer Brown; Cruelty, of Vanity: David Graham; Hopeful, of Vanity, later a friend to Christian: Thom Freeth; Liar, of Vanity: Christopher Moad; Lord Hate-good, a judge in Vanity: Charles Gardiner; Envy, of Vanity: Humphrey Graham; Money-love: Dermot Killingley; By-ends, of Fair-speech: Christopher Mullinder; Giant Despair, of Doubting Castle: Charles Gardiner; Diffidence, Giant Despair’s wife: Marion Anderson; Experience, a shepherd: Christopher Moad; Watchful, a shepherd: Kevin Robson; Sincere, a shepherd: John Hawthorne; Christian’s younger son as a man: Kevin Robson; Christian’s elder son as a man: Christopher Moad; Valiant-for-Truth, a pilgrim: Humphrey Graham; Violinists: Susan Greener, Kenneth Wright; Carpentry: Humphrey Graham, John Hawthorne; Choreographer and dance teacher: Siew-Yue Killingley; Costumes: Angela Hawthorne, the Company; Lighting: Rob Davidson; Prompters: Marion Anderson, Jennifer Brown; Scenes for projection; pillows for Giant Despair and Mistress Diffidence: Susan Horsfall; Slide photography: John Pearson.

Pilgrim's Progress

The adapation of The Pilgrim’s Progress by Siew-Yue Killingley is available from bookshops or direct from Grevatt & Grevatt.
‘Siew-Yue Killingley’s adaptation of The Pilgrim’s Progress is a veritable literary successor to Bunyan himself. . .Its energy is quickly apparent in its wit, its sympathy and above all its honesty.’ Journal of Literature and Theology

Click here for Grevatt & Grevatt’s web-site and for a fuller review of the adaptation

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Last update on 29th May 2004.