One man, two characters and a story of a nation divided at Bedford Corn Exchange

Dr Michael Prior plays Oliver Cromwell and Charles I
Dr Michael Prior plays Oliver Cromwell and Charles I

One man plays two very different characters in an unusual show being performed in Bedford on Saturday November 12.

Oliver Cromwell and King Charles I: Patriots or Tyrants? is an original play by former Bedford GP Dr Michael Prior, who plays both men in a work he describes as “like a conversation”.

Michael said: “Each man is pushing the action forward, telling his own side of the story.

“In truth, the Puritan Cromwell on his own is heavy going, but add in the King and the whole play is transformed. It lightens up, becomes human, much more interesting. The whole story suddenly makes sense.”

Cromwell and the King speak in dramatic and human terms of their own, deeply held, personal beliefs, which put them on a collisions course and split the nation.

Michael added: “The strangest thing is that once Cromwell was dead, and King Charles II restored to the throne, it was almost as if Cromwell and the Puritans had never been.

“The truth is the English are not profoundly religious. They are a fun-loving nation, and they embraced the Restoration, with all its fun and frolic, as if welcoming back an old friend. England was herself again.”

The show takes place at the Corn Exchange at 7pm. Tickets cost £10 or £8 for concessions. Call 01234 718044 to book.