To commemorate and celebrate the 70th anniversary of Bernard Shaw’s death, on 2nd November 1950, The Shaw Society sponsored a programme of original dramatic pieces, presented by three different production companies: SHAW2020, Michael Friend Productions and Helix Productions. Now available free on the Shaw Institute website Click here to view
Darlington 1950: Shavian actress Ellen Pollock, played by Laura Fitzpatrick, announces Shaw’s death from the stage of the Darlington Theatre: “He was a great man”, she said, “and a dear friend”. She goes on to reminisce. Jonas Cemm as Shaw joins her with friendly banter.
There follows a moving tribute to Shaw entitled Words of Love & Loss for a Platform Spellbinder, written by Helen Tierney and directed by Alexis Leighton, devised for the occasion by Helix Productions – sixteen women recount what Shaw meant to them – all very different women,but united in their devotion to GBS.
Shakes versus Shav was the last play to be written and produced during Shaw’s lifetime. This skit, written by Shaw as a puppet show, sees a Punch & Judy style spat between Wm.Shakespeare and Bernard Shaw with Jonas Cemm as Shav, Will Birch as Shakes, and Lainey Shaw Narrator and Puppet-master. The Director was Joe Sargent.
There follows Shaw’s First and Last Thoughts, compiled and directed by Michael Friend. This begins with three scenes based on Shaw’s second novel, The Irrational Knott, which he wrote in 1880 at the age of 24.‘First Thoughts’ is followed 70 years later by ‘Last Thoughts’. This takes the form of the final act of Shaw’s last play
Why She Would Not, written just three months before he died. The two characters, Henry, a well educated artisan played by Derek Murphy, and Serafina, a rich spinster played by Laura Fitzpatrick, discuss their relationship with predictable conclusions.
Visit TALKING SHAW YouTube series of short videos and enjoy some of Shaw’s best known characters including Eliza Doolittle and Mrs Warren, and The Devil’s scathing take on humanity from Don Juan in Hell from act III of Man and Superman; meet a few Shavian notables such as TV producer Gerry Hoban, theatre director Richard Digby-Day, soprano Joanna Forest and artistic director of the Orange Tree theatre Paul Miller, explaining “what Shaw means to me “. Click here to view