The Prayer of the Sword

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The Prayer of the Sword is a play in five acts by James Bernard Fagan (1873-1933)[1]

The original text

Written and performed at the Adelphi Theatre, London, on 19 September, 1904 and the text was published by R. Brimley Johnston, London, in the same year.

The play is described by Allardyce Nicoll (1973:p.292) as a "rather bombastic blank-verse religious play".

Ironically the incidental music composed for the play by Franco Leoni (1864-1949)[2] appears to have lasted longer than the play, having been recorded as late a 2013 by the National Philharmonic Orchestra and Richard Bonynge in 2013.[3]

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1905: Performed in South Africa by Leonard Rayne and his company as part of a season of plays, inter alia playing in the Opera House, Cape Town.


Facsimile version of the original published text, the Internet Archive[4]

D.C. Boonzaier, 1923. "My playgoing days – 30 years in the history of the Cape Town stage", in SA Review, 9 March and 24 August 1932. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: p.422

Allardyce Nicoll. 1973. A History of English Drama 1660-1900: 1900-1930: The Beginnings of the Modern Period Cambridge University Press

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