The Pope’s Wedding was Bond’s first play, a striking picture of listless and stultifying rural life. Though the play did not achieve the notoriety of Bond’s subsequent plays, it simmers with a hopelessness and resentment that turn inevitably to violence.
The play tells the story of a group of people who have little to look forward to beyond cigarettes and going to the pub. Among them is Scopey, a young man who bats an extraordinary over at a local cricket match. Pat is very taken with Scopey, heroic in his cricket whites, and leaves her fiancé Bill to sleep with him. But their subsequent marriage is not successful, and when Scopey offers to take over visiting Alan, a bedraggled loner whom Pat looks after, he is increasingly drawn into the old man’s reclusive and decrepit life, taking the play into darkness with him.
The Pope’s Wedding was first performed in 1962 at the Royal Court Theatre, London.