Churchill uses the events of the millenial movement during the English Civil War, when the revolutionary belief in the second coming of Christ reached fever pitch, to stage a volatile discussion of idealism, pragmatism and justice.
In a series of compact, concentrated scenes, Churchill dramatises the fervent conflicts of a time when hierarchies and conventions had been shaken. The Putney Debates pitted Cromwell against the nonconformist Diggers and Levellers, the Ranters triumphed in the non-existence of sin and preachers warned of the end of days.
Churchill suggests that, as in the original performance, parts are swapped and the same character is played by different actors. Light Shining in Buckinghamshire refracts, unbalances and shifts ideological positions producing profound and timeless debate well as historical insight.
Light Shining in Buckinghamshire opened in 1976 at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh.