Ben Hur


Ben Hur

Full-Length Play, Comedy  /  1w, 3m

"Patrick Barlow's small-scale take on this epic tale is a palpable hit." - Evening Standard

Image: 2015 Tricycle Theatre Production (Tristram Kenton)

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    1w, 3m
  • Duration
    105 Minutes
  • SubGenre
    Adaptations (Literature), Adaptations (Stage & Screen), Period, Parody / Spoof
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Adult, Teen (Age 14 - 18)
Ben Hur



Based on one of the timeless stories of one of the best-selling books of the nineteenth century, this stage adaptation condenses the epic tale so that it can be told by just four actors (or it can be expanded for a cast of up to twenty-six). The story follows an amateur theatre troupe as they produce the massive tale of the fictional Jewish prince and merchant Judah Ben-Hur. He falls to galley slave and rises to champion charioteer within Jerusalem during the life of Jesus Christ, while the actors struggle along through the piece as rivalries form and offstage romances interfere. Complete with chariot race, sea battle, and stage combat, Patrick Barlow weaves his compressed style popularized by The 39 Steps into one of the largest stories ever told. 


Ben Hur premiered at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury, UK in July 2012 under the direction of Sean Foley and Patrick Barlow.

ACTOR 1 - Melchior, Ben-Hur, Nubian dancer.
ACTOR 2 - Caspar, Archangel Gabriel, Messala, Jesus, Galley Captain, Roman Captain, Galley Slave 2, Nubian dancer, Valentinyo.
ACTOR 3 - Mary, Tirzah, Esther, Ancient Slave, Nubian dancer, Catalinya, Naboth, Mrs Pilate. 
ACTOR 4 - Balthasar, Sara, Centurion, Slave-driver, Quintus Arrius, Pontius Pilate.
  • Time Period Greek; Roman & Biblical
  • Setting The Ancient Roman Empire 1-30 AD
  • Features Period Costumes
  • Additional Features Physical Comedy, Stage Combat
  • Duration 105 Minutes
  • Cautions
    • Flying
    • Gun Shots



"[...] more quick changes and tomfoolery than an entire run of Monty Python." - The Guardian, Read More 

"Patrick Barlow's small-scale take on this epic tale is a palpable hit." - Evening Standard, Read More 


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  • Ben Hur Tricycle Theatre trailer youtube thumbnail

    Ben Hur Tricycle Theatre trailer

  • Audiences respond to Ben Hur youtube thumbnail

    Audiences respond to Ben Hur


  • Ben Hur

    Image: 2015 Tricycle Theatre Production (Tristram Kenton)

  • Ben Hur

    Image: 2015 Tricycle Theatre Production (Tristram Kenton)

  • Ben Hur

    Image: 2015 Tricycle Theatre Production (Tristram Kenton)

Licensing & Materials

  • Minimum Fee: £70 per performance plus VAT when applicable.

    Please submit a license request to determine availability.


Available Formats:


Patrick Barlow

Besides his version of Lew Wallace’s Ben Hur, Patrick Barlow’s Olivier-nominated adaptation of A Christmas Carol has played off-Broadway and London’s West End while his 4-person adaptation of The 39 Steps has played in over forty countries worldwide, winning Olivier, Helpmann ...

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