The Lady's Not For Burning



  • A verse play with a medieval setting by Christopher Fry,first produced in 1948 at London's Arts Theatre Club. It owed itssuccess to an enchanting story, elegant language, and a cast thateventually included John Gielgud, Pamela Brown, Claire Bloom, andRichard Burton.

    Before one evening's performance, Richard Burton, who wascontinually in trouble with the management for his romantic escapadesand practical jokes, decided to play a trick on the cast, which includedthe character actor Esme Percy, who had a glass eye. Percyand the other actors were horrified to find glass eyes hidden in purses,drinking glasses, and even rolling across the floor.

    The play begins with Thomas Mendip, a misanthropic soldier,confessing to murder and requesting to be hanged. The authoritiesignore him, being preoccupied with the case of Jennet Jourdemayne,a young girl accused of witchcraft. Jennet's combination of beautyand sweetness finally convinces everyone of her innocence. Thomasthen reveals that his 'confession' had been a diversion to save her,and the new lovers quietly leave together.