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The University College (London) Dramatic Society


We have produced a Style Guide to help editors follow a standard format when editing a listing. If you are unsure how best to edit this programme please take a moment to read it.
"The House of Bondage" from "Little Plays of St. Francis", by Laurence Housman
In a chamber, austerely furnished, under a high, narrow window sits Pica, wife of Pietro Bernadone, busy over household mendings. She is fat and comfortable; but her brow is now furrowed with thoughts that seem to distress her. She sighs and shakes her head. At her side a heavy, grated door stands open. From the dark interior comes the sound of rummaging. Once or twice she seems about to speak. At last with a short sigh she does so. She gets no answer. She waits, then speaks again...

For a number of years students at London University have devoted a week in January to the presentation of series of the many plays round the life of St Francis, written by Laurence Housman. During the past nine years some 14,000 people have attended these productions at University College, and the profits have been allocated to charity.
Since 1925, with one exception, one of these plays has been broadcast each year. Among those that have been done already are "Sister Clare", "Brother Yuniper", "Brother Wolf", "Brother Sun", "Makers of Miracle", and "Juniper's First Sermon". Thus listeners have been able to make the acquaintance of a great number of the Franciscan community. If the delightful scapegrace Juniper figures in so many, it is all to the good, for surely there is no more ingenuous and diverting person to be met in history or literature than the most conspicuous character in the life of St. Francis. He shows the lighter side of the nature of this most human of all the Saints.
But the play chosen for this evening is chronologically an early one, for it deals with Francesco (afterwards St. Francis) telling his father (Pietro) and his mother (Pica) of his decision that was to alter his entire life. The fire was to be his brother, the birds his brothers and sisters - he was to leave home. His mother was with him, his father passionately against him, which is the drama of this play.


Author: Laurence Housman
Pietro Bernadone: John Richmond
Pica, his wife: Margaret Peet
Francesco (afterwards St Francis): Hubert Gee

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Feedback about The University College (London) Dramatic Society, National Programme Daventry, 21.05, 7 January 1934
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