Rarely seen Christopher Fry comedy THE LADYâ€™S NOT FOR BURNING receives NY production at Walkerspace
A charismatic soldier bursts through the mayor’s window demanding to be hanged. AnÂ eccentric â€œwitchâ€ flees a homicidal mob threatening bloody revolution. A beautiful virginÂ has the townâ€™s young men trying to kill each other. And an allergic mayor wants nothingÂ more than to be fully occupied elsewhere. Itâ€™s been a rough day for these righteousÂ town-folk, who collide on the eve of both a wedding and a witch burning. THE LADYâ€™SÂ NOT FOR BURNING is a darkly comic and compelling debate on the merits of life andÂ death, hope and despair.
Playwright Christopher Fry was the toast of the West End and Broadway in the mid-20thÂ Century, gracing the cover of Time Magazine in 1950. That year, THE LADYâ€™S NOTÂ FOR BURNING transferred from the West End to Broadway, starring John Gielgud andÂ Richard Burton. Not to be outdone by Gielgud, Laurence Olivier commissioned Fry toÂ write Venus Observed, which Olivier starred in, directed and produced.
Fryâ€™s career as a playwright, however, abruptly ended with the emergence of JohnÂ Osborne and the explosion of the kitchen sink drama on the British stage. As SheridanÂ Morley noted in his biography of John Gielgud, â€œ[Christopher] Fry and [T.S.] Eliot wereÂ now to become the leaders (and virtually the only participants) in the movement of poeticÂ drama that flourished in Britain very briefly at the end of the 1940s and early 1950s, onlyÂ to disappear as rapidly as it had arrived, leaving remarkably little trace that it had everÂ existed.â€
Details on the cast for THE LADYâ€™S NOT FOR BURNING will be released in theÂ coming weeks. The production team includes set design by Michael V. Moore, costumeÂ design by Kirche Zeile, lighting design by Lucrecia BriceÃ±o and sound design by AsaÂ Wember.
Christopher Fry (playwright) was one of the most celebrated dramatists of the 20thÂ century, and one of few to write successfully in verse. His first major success was TheÂ Ladyâ€™s Not for Burning, followed by Venus Observed, The Dark is Light Enough, andÂ Yard of Sun, as well as translations of plays by Jean Anouilh (Ring Round the Moon,Â The Lark), Jean Giraudoux (Tiger at the Gates), Henrik Ibsen (Peer Gynt) and EdmondÂ Rostand (Cyrano de Bergerac). His work was directed by the major theatrical forcesÂ of his time, including John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier, and Peter Brook, and honoredÂ with a Tony Nomination and New York Drama Critics Circle awards. Fry also workedÂ prolifically in television and film, most notably on the screenplays for Ben-Hur (1959,Â Oscar Nomination) and Barabbas (1962).
Bryan Close (director) is an actor, director and teacher living in New York City.Â Bryan is the artistic director of Occam Rep, for whom he recently directed George F.Â Walkerâ€™s Featuring Loretta. Other New York directing credits include John PatrickÂ Shanleyâ€™s Savage in Limbo and readings of The Art Room by Billy Aronson and Or byÂ Liz Duffy Adams. His production of Our Countryâ€™s Good (North Carolina) earned him anÂ invitation to direct at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. MFA, A.C.T.; MA, Columbia.