1969 School Play



The production is mentioned in the 1969 school magazine - ELAN - page 10.
The Head Boy, M.J. Ainsworth, played Luther.

Programme provided by George Howe

Programme Insert

MARTIN LUTHER (1483 - 1546)

Born at Eisleben in Thuringia, the son of a mine-owner, Luther began to study law at the University of Erfurt, but in 1505, the year he graduated as a Master of Arts, he made a sudden decision to become a monk after a narrow escape from death in a thunderstorm, and he entered the monastery of the Augustinian Order at Erfurt. He quickly achieved a great reputation as a theologian, and in l508 became Professor of Theology at the University of Wittenberg. He gained his doctorate four years later.

After visiting Rome in 1511 he became increasingly critical of many aspects of the Church's teaching, but his Ninety-five Theses attacking the sale of indulgences actually marked the beginning of the Lutheran Reformation. The Pope first sent Cardinal Cajetan to remonstrate with Luther, but without success. At Leipzig in 1519 the great debate between Luther and the Catholic Theologian Dr. Eck clearly revealed Luther's heresy in the eyes of the Church. He was therefore excommunicated in 1520 but burnt the Papal Bull in the square at Wittenberg. Summoned before the Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521, Luther again refused to submit and was outlawed.

At this point, Luther was saved by his own prince, Frederick of Saxony, who took him under his protection at the castle of Wartburg. There he began his translation of the Bible into German, completed thirteen years later. His ideas were now winning support from many in Germany, princes and people alike, but in 1525 he faced a difficult crisis. The peasantry of south-west Germany, inflamed by the teachings of extremist religious reformers and resentful of their own feudal burdens, broke into rebellion. Luther turned against them violently. "Nothing", he wrote, "can be more poisonous, hurtful or devilish than a rebel", and he urged the princes and nobles to crush the revolt. By June 1525 the rebellion had been brutally supressed.

That same year Luther married Katherine von Bora, a former nun, and they eventually had six children.

After the Peasants' Revolt, Luther went on organising his Church, producing an Order of Service, a Catchism, a Hymn Book and in 1330 a full statement of doctrine, the Augsburg Confession. Support for his church gradually increased in Germany, but the Emperor was prevented by his many other problems from taking any effective action against the Lutherans until 1544. By that time it was too late, and a long period of war failed to destroy Protestantism.

As that war began, Luther died at Eisleben in 1546.

N.B.     Interval Change

First interval will now be 5 minutes and refreshments will be served in the second interval of 20 minutes

Photo provided by William Leece taken by Jonny Kirwan

Left to right: Les Abbie - Eric Griffiths - ? - Reg Williams - ? - William Leece - ?

Photo provided by Stuart Clarke

Memories from Stuart and William:

Stuart: Me in the middle, Les Abbie on the right with the candle, Tim someone on his right and Luther kneeling before me.

William: I had a non speaking part but with one of the most elaborate costumes. Eric Griffiths was in it too - is that him rear left? I heard that the costumes were borrowed from the Bolton Octagon and after the show they were stored in the big wooden hut in the lower yard that the OTC had used. Unfortunately, there was an arson attack and everything was smoke damaged or even destroyed completely - the people at Bolton were not amused. Happened in broad daylight, too, during a school day. The perpetrator was some lad lower down the school - don't know what happened to him. After the last night, we all trooped off to Ye Crack in costume, where the regulars and bar staff didn't bat a single eyelid!

Stuart: Ha, I remember the trip to Ye Cracke - if memory serves, I and the other monks trooped in and ordered a round of Benedictine liquers. I think Eric Griffiths is next to me but he may be the other candle bearer. After the final performance the costumes should have been returned immediately but for some reason Jeremy Eyre couldn't be bothered. As they hadn't gone back on time, the insurance was invalid.