[Christopher Fry, dramatist and poet.] "Thor with Angels" Copy of the 'Acting Edition for the Festival of the Friends of Canterbury Cathedral 1948', with anonymous manuscript copy letter, in two hands, of a rebuttal of a critical review in The Times.

Author: 
Christopher Fry (1907-2005), playwright and poet, noted for his verse dramas, author of 'The Lady's Not for Burning'
Publication details: 
Copy Letter dated 21 June 1948; no place. Play: [Friends of Canterbury Cathedral.] Canterbury: H. J. Goulden, Ltd. [1948.]
£350.00
SKU: 22300

From the Christopher Fry papers. PLAY: [1] + 47pp, 12mo. Stapled into buff wraps printed in red, including the statement that it is the 'Friends of Canterbury Cathedral Edition'. In fair condition, lightly aged, in worn wraps, with a trace of rust to staples. This edition of the play (the first?) is uncommon: the only copies on OCLC WorldCat at the British Library and University of British Columbia. COPY LETTER: 4pp, 12mo. In good condition, lightly aged. Written out in two hands, Recipient not named. With salutation 'Dear Sir,' and valediction 'I am | Yrs truly,'. Begins: 'The Canterbury Festival has this year been ennobled by a poetic drama which states in stark sincerity and with unflinching courage the message of Christ. Would that in every cathedral and place of worship in our land there could be set up those lines from the closing passage of' – at this point the text continues in another hand. A reference is made to 'The forces with which this urgent message must contend are well illustrated in the notices of the play. | Again, as those of us who saw it know, the play reaches at its climax a passionate force of most moving sincerity.' The writer(s) take exception to the view of the Times reviewer that the language at the play's climax 'reveals a want of emotional force'. The reviewer, 'having clearly shown that he has understood much of the play's purpose, proceeds, to adapt his own phrase, conscientiously and deliberately to decry and question Mr Fry's deep sincerity […] It is plain that to the dramatic critic of the Times the message of Christ is a dangerous idea.' The letter ends: 'May I, in closing, congratulate Mr Michael Golden on his fine interpretation of Cymen's great struggle against evil, and the other members of a memorable cast on their part in the performance of so significant a play'. Also present is a newspaper cutting of a review of the 'Festival Play At Canterbury | From J. C. Trewin'.