THOSE of you who arc interested in the contemporary theatre and who cherish the ambition of one day writing a play or acting in one will be interested in the following news about the Drama Group at Spode House, the conference centre attached to Hawkesyard Priory, 11 ogeley, Staffs.
Every year the Spode House Drama Committee commissions plays to be performed on the Spode House premises. The profits are allocated to a worthy cause, not necessarily connected with the Church. Last year, James Brabazon's play on refugees, "People of Nowhere", was so successful that it was produced all over the country and dramatised for BBC Television. The original proceeds were given to World Refugee Year.
T'year the Spode House Committee have commissioned an Anglican, Bill Canaway, to write a play for the Patrician Year on St. Patrick, in aid of the Save the Children Fund, This is to he called "Horse on Fire". and will he performed on the lawns of Spode House— with the added glory of floodlights —at 8.15 p.m. on July 2t, 22 and 23.
In the event of rain, the performances will be given in a canvas covered band-stand, originally erected for the opening of the nearby Lea Hall colliery and made available to Spode House by the National Coal Board.
AUDITIONS for the cast will be held at Spode House this Sunday (May 7, afternoon). Donald Nutter, the play's producer, will be pleased to meet all those keen and willing to take a part.
Of the writing of the play. the author Bill Canaway says: "Absolutely no attempt has been made to limit my treatment of the theme of St. Patrick; it has been left entirely to me."
This is good news for all of us,
Spode House, showing — on right — the new annex which has
the further accommodation of 18 showing at least that there is scope and opportunity for budding playwrights with a serious purpose.
FURTHER interesting news concerning Spode House comes from the Union of Catholic Students. Their study week held during Easter at Spode House was attended by some 50 students from at least 12 universities. Fr. Florio. from the London University Chaplaincy, was the chaplain. The lectures were given by Fr. Herbert McCabe, 0.P., the theme being "St, Paul".
My correspondent writes: "One soon became aware of some of the far-reaching implications of the present scriptural revival in the Church, which includes the rediscovery of St. Paul. If most Catholics today realised more fully what the Resurrection means, and understood that the Church is in fact the Body of Christ, it would give a new dimension to their lives and make Christianity much more compelling to the millions who live without it.
"The programme had its lighter side, which included a fancy-dress ball and a hilarious concert. Altogether it was a most enjoyable week, and one that proved the unity that exists among Catholic University students."
ONE of my readers. Eddie Linden, the dynamic young Scot who founded the Catholic Nuclear Disarmament Group, and whose views on Communism I once discussed at length in my column, writes to me from hospital saying: "Could you, through your column, tell those who know me that I am ill and will be in hospital for a long period, and that I will be glad to receive any letters." Address: Henderson Hospital single rooms with central heating land "hot and cold„ in each room.
Nursing Home.. Sutton, Surrey. He says a friend has already arranged to send the "C.H.” every week.