Five English cathedrals that are architectural treasures, chosen by Antic Disposition

Durham Cathedral

One of the most famous scenes in the play is set the night before the Battle of Agincourt, where King Henry tours his army camp in disguise. Coming across three common soldiers, he engages them in conversation to gauge their morale – and doesn’t like what he hears.

Image: Matt Buck

When we first conceived the production in 2015, we decided to make these three soldiers Geordies, so we’re pleased to be bringing them ‘home’ to Durham on this tour. We’ll be performing in the Crossing, the heart of the cathedral, which was begun in 1093 and is considered one of the most impressive Norman buildings in the whole of Europe (it was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986).

Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford

Oxford’s Christ Church is one of the most intimate venues on our tour, enabling us to bring the audience right up close to the action. We’ll be performing in the late Norman Nave of the building, which is unique in being both a cathedral and a college chapel.

Appropriately for a cathedral with a strong musical tradition (Renaissance composer John Taverner was the first organist and William Walton was a chorister), our production includes original music throughout, including songs based on the poems of AE Housman.

Wells Cathedral

One of the most unusual features of Wells Cathedral are the St Andrew’s Cross arches that were added to the nave in 1338 to support the cathedral’s massive central tower, which was starting to put excessive stress on its supporting piers.

Image: David Iliff

The scissors-like structure divides aesthetic opinion, but for our production - which will take place directly beneath it - the drama of the architecture will add to the spectacle of scenes such as the storming of Harfleur (‘Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!’) and the court of the French King in Rouen.

Antic Disposition’s Henry V is touring ten cathedrals throughout the autumn, concluding with a run of five special performances in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon – burial place of William Shakespeare. For the full list of dates and venues and to book tickets, visit

Feature image: Sailsbury Cathedral, Chris Hotton. 

2 of 2

Progressive Media International Limited. Registered Office: 40-42 Hatton Garden, London, EC1N 8EB, UK.Copyright 2024, All rights reserved.