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Sunday, December 18, 2016

A 'wide-eyed' approach to writing

“Imagination is the wide-open eye which leads us always to see truth more vividly.” – Christopher Fry

Born on this date in 1907, Fry was a multiple award winning English poet and playwright.  He was best known for his verse dramas, notably The Lady's Not for Burning, voted by critics as one of the 100 best plays of the 20th Century.  It has been revived a number of times and also made into a major movie.   His One Thing More, a play about the 7th century Northumbrian monk Cædmon, who was suddenly given the gift of composing song, also won wide recognition.

One of England’s most successful playwrights and scriptwriters (especially for radio), Fry not only focused on his own works, but also did a number of translations into English of some of the better known plays from other nations.  Among them were Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, and French playwright Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac and The Fantastiks, all widely popularized through Fry’s productions.
All told, Fry wrote or translated three dozen major                   
works and was voted the most popular playwright in England on many occasions.  He said that perhaps his popularity also was due to his ability to write for and about ordinary people and their lives, but with a twist.

“In my plays I want to look at life - at the commonplace of existence - as if we had just turned a corner and run into it for the first time.”

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