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by Bernard Shaw
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Shaw's 1909 country-house comedy explores the clash of social classes when an aristocratic Edwardian wishes to marry the daughter of a bourgeois underwear tycoon. In this pleasant production, the acting is consistently fine, with Roger Rees, Victoria Tennant, Serena Scott Thomas, Eric Stoltz, and others forming a polished ensemble. The abridged version of the original text, while wisely leaving out some arcane references, at other times cuts too deeply into some speeches. Allowing the play to run more closely to two hours likely would have preserved more verbal richness without losing the fizz created by the wonderful cast. (Although the discs promise tracks every three minutes, neither has any indexing. The usual lead-in narration crediting the performers and providing a context for the play is also absent.) G.H. © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
Taking place on a single day in May 1909, a self-made millionaire and his family invite their future nobleman in-law for a visit to their estate in Surrey, England. In this delightfully clever play, issues of gender, class, politics, and family are all targets for Shaw's keen wit. Starring: Eric Stoltz, Roger Rees, Victoria Tennant, and Serena Scott Thomas
Johnny Tarleton, an ordinary young business man of thirty or less, is taking his weekly Friday to Tuesday in the house of his father, John Tarleton, who has made a great deal of money out of Tarleton's Underwear. The house is in Surrey, on the slope of Hindhead; and Johnny, reclining, novel in hand, in a swinging chair with a little awning above it, is enshrined in a spacious half hemisphere of glass which forms a pavilion commanding the garden, and, beyond it, a barren but lovely landscape of hill profile with fir trees, commons of bracken and gorse, and wonderful cloud pictures.
About the Author
Born in Dublin, the Irish dramatist, literary critic, a socialist spokesman, and a leading figure in the 20th century theatre, George Bernard Shaw began his literary career as a novelist; as a fervent advocate of the new theatre of Ibsen, he decided to write plays in order to illustrate his criticism of the English stage. His important plays include: Mrs. Warrens Profession, Saint Joan, Caesar and Cleopatra, The Doctors Dilemma, Candida and Pygmalion. Shaws complete works appeared in thirty-six volumes between 1930 and 1950, the year of his death.
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