ALI. SORTS. liv Fr. Basset, S.J.
ALMOST as you read these lines,
Miss Bradi Barth and her company of Belgian students will be taking the road for England in their van. The company with its marionettes and stage and scenery is faced with a month on the English roads. The great truck moves from Ghent to the coast and then from Dover to London, Oxford, Birmingham, Manchester, Accrington, Liverpool, Stockport, Preston. Coventry, and Guildford. Inside will be the artists and technicians laughing and drinking coffee and wondering what sort of reception they are likely to get. The company is always laughing, a detail which becomes more edifying when one thinks of the hard work ahead and the absence of any financial gain.
Continental interest A S ith all continental Catholics, this Marionette Company cherishes a most moving love for England and for the English Church. Perhaps as a result of the persecutions here and of the centuries of exile endured by English Catholics, the Continent takes a most touching interest in our affairs. I have seen this devotion in Spain, at Lourdes, and in many parts of Holland, Belgium, and France. Most continentals form a false picture of our Church. They think of us as of a small henpecked minority and know nothing of the tolerance extended to us and of our rapid increase in recent years. The Marionette Company longed to play in Oxford and they will be very surprised at the warmth of their reception. I heard to-day that the Playhouse scats are selling fast for the one performance on December 4 at 3 p.m. Like Fr. Duval before Um. they will he overcome by the kindness of Preston audiences during their two performances on December 11. Accrington on December 7 (3.30 p.m. and 7.30 p.m.) is unlikely to fall behind the rest. In the bigger cities publicity is more difficult, but Liverpool ap pears to be preparing a great reception with its two performances on December 8 and 10. and Manchester has a show in St. Gerard's Hall, Moss Side. on December 6 at 7 p.m. The Marionette Company would have to march very hard on the Continent for a more impressive set-up than the Ullathorne School, Coventry. which they visit on December 12.
L ONDON is as always the main " problem, not because Catholics are not numerous and enthusiastic, but because of the enormous distances to he covered and the cost of publicity. It was a joy to hear that a number of nonCatholics have booked blocks of tickets for the great performance on December 2 at the St. Pancras Town Hall. This is not surprising. for the Marionettes of Bradi Barth are now internationally famous and a great many people are interested in her unique experiment of using puppets as they were used in the Middle Ages for putting over religious truth. There are two performances at the St. Pancras Town Hall at 2.30 p.m. and 7.30 p.m., and tickets may be had in advance from Miss P. Holberton, 55b Qtdogan St., S.W.3. The St. Pancras Town Hall is very large, but the number of Catholics in central London is larger and this will be their only chance. South of the Thames there are two performances at the Streatham Baths on December 3 at 2.30 p.m. and 8 p.m,, tickets from Miss M. Pendlebury, 23 Pinfold Rd., S.W.I6. T.ack of adequate transport facilities have unfortunately robbed West London of their performance planned for the Acton Town Hall. I hope therefore that these "Westerners" will transfer their affections to the performances at the St. Pancras Town Hall on December 2, details of which are given above. There are plenty of buses and Underground Railway facilities in that area. In all these halls the tickets centre on 3s. and 5s. and few will grudge this who remember the long journey made by the company and the heavy expense.
Fr. Duval READER', ho are uninterested in Mai ;calcites and in Fr. Duval's concerts may reasonably resent the space given to them in this column in recent weeks. Old friends of the column will be more tolerant, recognising my responsibilities in the matter of these two guests. Happily "All Sorts" only played the initial part in the invitation, and since then many generous organisations and individuals have come forward to sponsor different performances. The details of Fr. Duval's concerts have become better known. While the seats for his concerts are being rapidly sold, the great man himself is singing almost daily on a French tour. A non-Catholie reader, just back from France, tells me that she attended a great concert at Tours. Five thousand people crowded into the skating rink for the occasion, the two small entrances proving so inadequate that the concert had to start 50 minutes late. The bishop was present for the whole concert, which ended at midnight. This eye-witness was astonished at the skill of the performance and the way in which Fr. Duval used secular songs and his own songs cleverly mixed to put his religious message across.
Tailpiece A HEADMASTER speaking to " his boys in a grammar school before an important religious service urged them to behave well in these stirring words: "Boys, remember that you will be in the presence of God, and. more important. I will be at the back."