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‘Fear, and the pit, and the snare are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth’

1649. After years of bloody civil conflict, an exhausted England is in the hands of radical extremists. Turning the country upside down, Parliament’s soldiers kill the King and take power into their own hands. Theirs is a war to establish Heaven on Earth.

This is the story of the most terrifying decade in our history. Struggling to find a voice in the face of unspeakable suffering, a group of ordinary men and women cling to the belief that they will be shown a glimpse of unspeakable, transcendent glory.

This major UK revival of Churchill’s seminal play is brought to the stage by Polly Findlay and the stellar creative team behind Thyestes (Arcola) and Eigengrau (Bush).


Phil Arditti Jamie BallardChris HarperKobna Holdbrook SmithHelena LymberyMichelle Terry



With the help of John Rees from the Levellers Association, the cast of Light Shining in Buckinghamshire went down to the original site of the Putney Debates to recreated the central scene of Caryl Churchill’s seminal play – and take some questions and answers from the audience – here are some of the highlights…

Production photography by Robert Workman

Programme of events supported by Verso Books

Arcola Theatre and Strawberry Vale Productions present

Written by Caryl Churchill
Director Polly Findlay

Designer Hannah Clark
Sound Designer Gareth Fry
Lighting Designer Matthew Pitman
Casting Director Juliet Horsley

Cast: Philip Arditti, Jamie Ballard, Christopher Harper, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Helena Lymbery, Michelle Terry .