The Lady’s Not for Burning

Fascinating discussions during our table work last night.  What Fry pulls off in this play is really quite remarkable.  Not only is it a delightful and humane comedy full of life-affirming exuberance, it is also a rather anarchic critique about societies (like ours) that go to war.  What kind of bravery does it take to defy a power structure you know is in the wrong?  When we choose to ignore or distract ourselves from the existence of wrong-doing, do we not make ourselves complicit in the wrong-doing itself?  How many of us truly have the courage of our convictions?  Deep and discomfiting questions like these are at the heart of Fry’s play.  And how each character answers these questions is what makes the story so compelling.

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We’re excited that picked up our press release for The Lady’s Not for Burning.  Tickets are on sale — and while May might seem far away, the early bird gets the worm!

Rarely seen Christopher Fry comedy THE LADY’S NOT FOR BURNING receives NY production at Walkerspace

New York, New York March 1, 2011—The 1950 Broadway hit THE LADY’S NOT FOR BURNING receives a rare NYC production courtesy of new NYC-based company Parenthesis. THE LADY’S NOT FOR BURNING, written by Christopher Fry and directed by Bryan Close, begins performances on Saturday, May 21 for a limited engagement through Saturday, June 11. Press Opening is Wednesday, May 25 at 8 PM. Performances are at Walkerspace (46 Walker Street, Between Broadway and Church. Via subway take the A, C, E, N, R, 4, 6 to Canal or the 1, 2, to Franklin).  The performance schedule is Wednesday – Saturday at 8 PM, Sunday at 3 PM. There is an added performance on Monday, May 23 at 8 PM; no performance on Wednesday, June 8. The regular ticket price is $18. For tickets, call SmartTix at (212) 868-4444 or visit For more information, visit

A charismatic soldier bursts through the mayor’s window demanding to be hanged. An eccentric “witch” flees a homicidal mob threatening bloody revolution. A beautiful virgin has the town’s young men trying to kill each other. And an allergic mayor wants nothing more than to be fully occupied elsewhere. It’s been a rough day for these righteous town-folk, who collide on the eve of both a wedding and a witch burning. THE LADY’S NOT FOR BURNING is a darkly comic and compelling debate on the merits of life and death, hope and despair.

Playwright Christopher Fry was the toast of the West End and Broadway in the mid-20th Century, gracing the cover of Time Magazine in 1950. That year, THE LADY’S NOT FOR BURNING transferred from the West End to Broadway, starring John Gielgud and Richard Burton. Not to be outdone by Gielgud, Laurence Olivier commissioned Fry to write Venus Observed, which Olivier starred in, directed and produced.

Fry’s career as a playwright, however, abruptly ended with the emergence of John Osborne and the explosion of the kitchen sink drama on the British stage. As Sheridan Morley noted in his biography of John Gielgud, “[Christopher] Fry and [T.S.] Eliot were now to become the leaders (and virtually the only participants) in the movement of poetic drama that flourished in Britain very briefly at the end of the 1940s and early 1950s, only to disappear as rapidly as it had arrived, leaving remarkably little trace that it had ever existed.”

Details on the cast for THE LADY’S NOT FOR BURNING will be released in the coming weeks. The production team includes set design by Michael V. Moore, costume design by Kirche Zeile, lighting design by Lucrecia Briceño and sound design by Asa Wember.

Christopher Fry
(playwright) was one of the most celebrated dramatists of the 20th century, and one of few to write successfully in verse. His first major success was The Lady’s Not for Burning, followed by Venus Observed, The Dark is Light Enough, and Yard of Sun, as well as translations of plays by Jean Anouilh (Ring Round the MoonThe Lark), Jean Giraudoux (Tiger at the Gates), Henrik Ibsen (Peer Gynt) and Edmond Rostand (Cyrano de Bergerac). His work was directed by the major theatrical forces of his time, including John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier, and Peter Brook, and honored with a Tony Nomination and New York Drama Critics Circle awards. Fry also worked prolifically in television and film, most notably on the screenplays for Ben-Hur (1959, Oscar Nomination) and Barabbas (1962).

Bryan Close
(director) is an actor, director and teacher living in New York City. Bryan is the artistic director of Occam Rep, for whom he recently directed George F. Walker’s Featuring Loretta. Other New York directing credits include John Patrick Shanley’s Savage in Limbo and readings of The Art Room by Billy Aronson and Or by Liz Duffy Adams. His production of Our Country’s Good (North Carolina) earned him an invitation to direct at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. MFA, A.C.T.; MA, Columbia.



Christopher Fry on the cover of TIME, 1950

January 14, 2011

What a stud.  And that, I believe, would be the title character of The Lady’s Not for Burning behind him.

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The Lady’s Not for Burning

December 31, 2010

The new year is upon us.  2011 will mark the debut of Parenthesis with our inaugural production of… The Lady’s Not for Burning by Christopher Fry May 21 – June 11, 2011 @ Walkerspace in Tribeca pending AEA showcase code approval I am so excited about this play.  It is probably the best play you’ve […]

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