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Christopher FryPLAYS in Chronological Order

Youth and the Peregrines. Performed at Tunbridge Wells, 1934. Unpublished

Boy with a Cart (one-act religious drama in verse and prose).
London: Oxford University Press, 1939; 2nd ed.: London: Fred Müller, Ltd., 1945; 3rd ed., 1958; Collected editions: Plays, Oxford University Press: Oxford Paperbacks, 1970 and Selected Plays, 1985. Written for a Sussex church jubilee in 1938.

The Firstborn (three-act religious drama in verse).
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1946; London: Oxford University Press, 1949; revised ed., Oxford University Press, 1952. (Revised in 1948, 1951, 1958). Collected editions: Three Plays, Oxford University Press, 1960, and Plays, Oxford University Press, 1970 . Also in Religious Drama, 1, Five Plays selected and introduced by Marvin Halverson (Cleveland, USA: Meridian Books, c. 1957). Begun 1938 for Tewkesbury Festival. First performed on stage at the Edinburgh Festival, September 1948, but broadcast by the BBC in 1947.

A Phoenix too Frequent (one-act comedy in verse).
London: Hollis & Carter, 1946. Reissued: London: Oxford University Press, 1949. (1959 Oxford University Press edition is illustrated by Ronald Searle.) Collected editions: Plays, Oxford University Press, 1969 and in Selected Plays, 1985. First performed at the Mercury Theatre, London, in April 1946, as part of E. Martin Browne’s season of verse plays. Revived November of that year at the Arts Theatre, London, starring Paul Schofield.

The Lady’s not for Burning (a “spring” comedy in three acts in verse). London: Oxford University Press, 1949, 1958 . Collected editions: Plays, Oxford University Press, 1969 and in Selected Plays, 1985. Commissioned by Alec Clunes for the Arts Theatre, London, and first performed there in 1948, transferring to the Globe Theatre where John Gielgud replaced Alec Clunes as Thomas Mendip. Claire Bloom and Richard Burton also starred alongside Pamela Brown in their first major acting roles. After 294 performances, the play transferred to Broadway for another 151 performances.

Thor, with Angels (a religious verse drama in one act).
Acting edition: H.J.Goulden Ltd., for Canterbury Cathedral, 1948; London: Oxford University Press, 1948, 1949, 1958; OUP, Oxford paperbacks, 1960. Collected editions: Three Plays, OUP, 1960 and Plays, OUP, 1969.
First performed at Canterbury cathedral as part of the Canterbury Festival.

Venus Observed (an “autumn” comedy in three acts in verse).
London: Oxford University Press, 1950; reprinted, 1957 – 1965; Oxford Paperbacks, 1970. Collected edition, Plays, OUP, 1970. First performed at the St James Theatre, London, in January, 1950. Written for Sir Laurence Olivier, who acted and directed, to open the theatre under his management. Vivien Leigh also starred.

Ring round the Moon (a “charade with music”: three acts in prose; a version of Anouilh’s L’Invitation au Chateau).
London: Methuen & co., 1950, large format, 1952; acting edition: London: French, 1976. First performed in 1950, at the Globe Theatre in London. Peter Brook directed; Paul Schofield, Margaret Rutherford and Claire Bloom starred.

A Sleep of Prisoners (a religious drama in one act in verse).
London: Oxford University Press, 1951. In collected editions: Three Plays, OUP, 1960; Plays, OUP, 1971; Selected Plays, OUP, 1985. As an Oxford Student Text: OUP, 1973, 1989. Commissioned by the Festival of Britain Committee. First performed in Oxford in April at the university church, transferring to St Thomas’s church, London, in May (with Denholm Elliott and Stanley Baker), and performed in churches all over Britain.

The Dark is Light Enough (a “winter” comedy in three acts in verse).
London: Oxford University Press, 1954. In collected edition: Plays, London: OUP, 1971. First performed at the Aldwych theatre in London, in April 1954, starring Dame Edith Evans, for whom it was written.

The Lark (a version of Jean Anouilh’s L’Alouette, in prose).
London: Methuen & co., 1956. First performed at the Lyric Theatre, London, in 1955.

Tiger at the Gates (a prose translation in two acts of Giraudoux’s La Guerre de Troie n’aura pas lieu).
London: Methuen & co., 1955; New York: French, 1956. Collected in Giraudoux: Three Plays (London: Oxford University Press, 1963). Republished in 1983 as The Trojan War will not Take Place (London: Methuen, Methuen Modern Plays series). First performed at the Apollo Theatre, London, June 1955, starring Barbara Jefford and Michael Redgrave, with incidental music by Lennox Berkeley.

Duel of Angels (a prose translation in two acts of Giraudoux’s Pour Lucrèce).
London: Methuen & Co., 1958. Collected in Giraudoux: Three Plays (London: Oxford University Press, 1963). First performed at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, March 1958, transferring to London in April 1958.

Judith (a prose adaptation of Giraudoux’s Judith).
London: Methuen & co., 1962. Collected in Giraudoux: Three Plays (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1963). First performed in London in 1962.

Curtmantle (a historical drama in prose and verse).
London: Oxford University Press, 1961. Collected in Plays (OUP, 1971), and in Selected Plays ( OUP, 1985). First performed in Staadschoburg, Tilbury, Netherlands, 1961, and later that year by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The Boy and the Magic. A Tale (a translation of Colette’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges).

Peer Gynt (five acts in verse, a version of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt ).
London: Oxford University Press, 1970; in OUP Worlds’ Classics series, 1989. First performed at the Chichester Festival, May 1970.

A Yard of Sun (a “summer” comedy in “symbolic verse”, in two acts).
London: Oxford University Press, 1970. First performed at the Nottingham Playhouse, 1970.

Cyrano de Bergerac (a translation of Edmond Rostand’s play in chiming verse, in five acts).
London: Oxford University Press, 1975; OUP Worlds’ Classics series, 1996. First performed at the Chichester Festival in 1975.

Paradise Lost (a sacra rappresentazione in two acts, adapted from Milton, with music by Penderecki). Libretto by Fry, German version by Hans Wollschäger.
London, New York: Schott, 1978. First performed in Chicago, 1978

One Thing More, or Caedmon Construed (one-act religious drama in prose)
London: King’s College, c. 1986; New York: Dramatists’ Play Service, c. 1987. First performed in Chelmsford Cathedral, 4 November 1986. Written at the invitation of the BBC and broadcast on BBC Radio Four on 16th November 1986.

Journey into Light, a choral symphony (verse by Christopher Fry with music by Robert Walker).
London: French Ltd, 1992. First performed in Chichester Cathedral, June 1992. Commissioned by the Duke of Richmond to celebrate European Union.

A Ringing of Bells (a one-act conversational fantasy in prose).
London: Oxford University Press, 2000. First performed at Bedford Modern School (Fry’s old school), which commissioned the work to celebrate the millennium, in 2000; later at the National Theatre, London, June 2001.


Cinderella. A pantomime.
Tunbridge Wells, England: Courier, c.1934. ( In British Library.)

The Sleeping Beauty. A pantomime.
Tunbridge Wells, England: Courier, nd. ( In British Library.)

She Shall Have Music. Lyrics ( and some of the music) for a musical at the Savoy (with Ronald Frankau).
London, 1934.

To Sea in a Sieve. A Revue. Words and music by Frank Harris (pseudonym)
Reading, England: Greenslade & Co., 1935. (Programme in British Library.)

Open Door . A Dramatisation of the life of Dr Barnado.
London, 1936. Printed by the Boys at the Press of Dr Barnado’s Homes, Goldings, Hertfordshire. (In British Library.)

The Tower. A Pageant Play.
Performed at Tewkesbury Abbey, 1939. Unpublished.

Thursday’s Child. Nine songs for a pageant. With music by Martin Fallas Shaw.
London: Girls’ Friendly Society, 1939; J.B.Cramer and Co. Performed in the Royal Albert Hall, 1939.

Winter’s Tale. Incidental music for a sound recording of Shakespeare’s play, with John Gielgud, Peggy Ashcroft and George Rose.
New York: Caedmon, c. 1961 and 1972. Three cassettes.


Three Plays: The Firstborn; Thor, with Angels; A Sleep of Prisoners
London: Oxford University Press, 1960

Plays: A Phoenix too Frequent; Thor, with Angels; The Lady’s not for Burning.
London: Oxford University Press, 1969.

Plays: The Boy with a Cart; The Firstborn; Venus Observed.
London: Oxford University Press, 1970.

Plays: A Sleep of Prisoners, The Dark is Light Enough; Curtmantle.
London: Oxford University Press, 1971.

Giraudoux: Three Plays (translations from French): Tiger at the Gates; Duel of Angles; Judith.
London: Oxford University Press, 1963.

Selected Plays: The Boy with a Cart; A Phoenix too Frequent; The Lady’s not for Burning; A Sleep of Prisoners; Curtmantle.
London: Oxford University Press, 1985


The Brontës of Haworth. Television mini-series.
Playscript in two volumes (London: Davis-Poynter, 1975). Video (2 hours, 40 min.) (Goldhill Entertainments, 2000); DVD in four-volume boxed set (USA: BFS Entertainment & Multimedia Ltd.).

Sister Dora. Television mini-series, an adaptation of Jo Manton’s novel.
1977 (unpub.) The true story of Dorothy Pattison, pioneering British nurse (1832-78). Dorothy Tutin starred in the original broadcast by Yorkshire Television. Also a film.

Best of Enemies. Play for television.
1977 (unpub). ITV Playhouse, 1976, starring Daniel Abineri.


Various scripts for Children’s Hour, 1939-40

Rhineland Journey, 1948



Beggars’ Opera.
Fry co-wrote screenplay for Peter Brook, and wrote extra lyrics. (1954)

Ben Hur.
Fry rewrote most of the script (uncredited) for William Wyler and Sam Zimbalist (1959)

Screenplay for Dino de Laurentis (1962).

The Bible.
Fry co-wrote screenplay (with Jonathan Griffin) for John Huston (New York: Pocket Books, 1966).


Crown of the Year. A Cantata for Women’s Voices. Words by Christopher Fry, music by Michael Tippett.
London: Schott, 1958-9. (Schott 10659 –10667.)

Spoken by Sir Laurence Olivier before a performance of Twelfth Night at the Old Vic, London, on Saturday 6th January, 1973, as part of the “Fanfare for Europe” celebrations. Published in 1973; one sheet. ( In the British Library.)

The Hands of God. Songs for unaccompanied mixed voices. Words by Christopher Fry, music by Enid Luff.
London: Primavera, c.1987. (Score only, in British Library.)

The Seasons. Poems to accompany Julie Cooper’s adaptation of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”.
London, 1990.


An Experience of Critics (contributor), edited by K. Webb. Criticism.
London: Perpetua, 1952.

The Boat that Mooed
New York: Macmillan, 1965.

Can you find me? A Family history.
Hardback book. xii, 270. With photographs, family trees of the Hammond, Fry and Harris family. The book ends in 1918.
London.: Oxford University Press, 1978.

A Sprinkle of Nutmeg: Letters to Christopher Fry 1943-45. Letters from his wife Phyl, with a foreword by Fry, and his poem to Phyl on his Christmas card for her in 1985. With two drawings by Julian Bell and cover picture by Patrick Heron.
London: Enitharmon, 1992. Hardback and paperback editions.


(This list is likely to be incomplete. Most of those below were found in Glenda Leeming’s Christopher Fry.)

“Venus considered”, Theatre Newsletter, 11 March 1950

“Comedy”, Adelphi (November 1950), pp 27-29

“Poetry and the Theatre”, Adam 19 (1951), pp 2-10

“How Lost, how Amazed, How Miraculous We Are”, Theatre Arts 36 (August 1952), p. 27

“Why Verse?”, World Theatre 4, no. 4 (1955), pp 51 – 61

“Comedy”, Tulane Drama Review 4, no. 3 (1960), pp 77-79

“Talking of Henry”, Twentieth Century 169 (February 1961), pp 186 – 190

“Theatre and History”, Essays and Studies 30 (1977), pp 86-87

“Looking for a Language”, Adam (1980), pp 428 – 30.


Death is a Kind of Love. Lecture given in Chichester Cathedral, November, 1977.
London, 1979. Also: Cranberry Isles, Maine, USA: The Tidal Press, 1979 (in the British Library).

Genius, Talent and Failure: the Brontës. Adam lecture, 1986
London: King’s College London, 1987. Version of talk with same title given to the Brontë Society in 1976? (Vol. 17, 86,1).

The Early Days: text of the annual address given to the Society for Theatre Research, May 14th, 1996.
London: Society for Theatre Research, 1997. (In the British Library.)

Looking for a Language. Talk given at Minerva Theatre, Chichester, on Saturday June 5th, 2002.
Brochure, published 2002. Revised version of a talk given at Leicester University in 1987. An earlier version with the same title appeared in Adam, 1980, pp 428-430.


Bedford Training College: 1882 – 1982: a History of a Froebel College and its Schools, by Richard Smart. Foreword by Christopher Fry. (He was a former pupil of Bedford Modern School.)
Bedford: Bedford Training College Publication Committee, 1982. (In British Library.)

Charlie Hammond’s Sketchbook, by Charlie Hammond (1870-1957). Pictures of Australia and New Zealand by Fry’s uncle. Introduction by Christopher Fry.
London: Oxford University Press, 1980. (In British Library.)

A Tent in which to Pass a Summer Night: an anthology for a new age, by Belle Valerie Gaunt and George Trevelyan. Foreword by Christopher Fry.
London: Coventure, 1977. (In British Library.)

In the Eye of the storm: fifty years of poetry, by Ondra Lysohorsky
(1905 - ); edited and introduced by David Gill. Translated from the Lachian and the German by D. Gill et al. Preface by Christopher Fry.
Bakewell, Derbyshire, UK: Hub Publications Ltd., 1976. (In British Library.)

Sussex: People, Places, Things, by Bernard Price. Foreword by Christopher Fry.
London: Phillimore, 1975. (In British Library.)

The Graven Image/Clare and Robert Gittings, by Clare Gittings. Family Christmas cards and poems. Foreword by Christopher Fry.
Oxford: Perpetua Press, c. 1993.

The First Fifty Years of the West Country Writers’ Association, by Anne Double. Preface by Margaret Drabble. Foreword by Christopher Fry, President of the Association. Princes Risborough, UK: West Country Writers’ Association, 2001. (In British Library.)


Poetry Reading, June 1970
British Council recording, n.o 1651

Interview with Peter Orr, 1970
British Council recording, no. 1652: The Poet Speaks series.

(Both in the Harvard Theatre Collection, Harvard University, Mass., USA)

In Martin E. Browne’s Papers 1925 – 1975, in the Harvard Theatre Collection.


Christopher Fry: an Appreciation, by Derek Stanford
London: Peter Nevill, 1951; revised ed. 1952. An exposition of the plays and their plots.

A Christopher Fry Album, by Derek Stanford
London, Peter Nevill, 1952. Anecdotal biography with descriptions of early productions. Photographs.

Christopher Fry, by Derek Stanford
Writers and their work series (London: Longman Group Ltd, 1954. Revised 1955, 1962, 1971) 50pp, pb. With portrait and bibliography.

Christopher Fry: the man and his works, by E. Roy

A Bibliography on Christopher Fry, compiled by B. L. Schear and E. G. Prater, Tulane Drama Review, vol. IV, iii, March 1960, pp 88-98.

Christopher Fry, by Glenda Leeming
Boston: Twayne Publishers, Twayne’s English Authors Series, 1990, xv, 180 pp. Criticism and interpretation. With portrait, chronology and bibliography.

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