Now to close the season, as the end of the year approaches and as Shaw’s works come out of copyright, The Shaw Society present two more free shows, online.
The first in this double-bill, Shakes versus Shav (1949), directed by Joe Sargent, comes from SHAW2020, a theatre company whose mission is to engage wider more diverse audiences with performance and exploration of Bernard Shaw’s works. This skit, written by Shaw as a puppet show, sees a Punch & Judy style spat between William Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw. The two puppets are still preserved. ‘Shakes’ is in Stratford-upon-Avon, and ‘Shav” is in the collection of Shaw’s Corner, his home for more than forty years in the village of Ayot St Lawrence in Hertfordshire, now a National Trust property. Says Jonas Cemm, Artistic Director of SHAW2020, who plays Shav: “It’s Shakes versus Shav as you’ve never seen it before – and in the pantomime season too!
This will be followed by a presentation from Michael Friend, a Vice-President of the Shaw Society and resident theatre director at Shaw’s Corner for 25 years, who has compiled and directed Shaw’s First and Last Thoughts, with adapted scenes from an early Shaw novel The Irrational Knot (1880) and the final scene from Why She Would Not, written just before Shaw’s 94th birthday in July 1950. Michael Friend comments “Two pieces with similar themes, spanning 70 years of Shaw’s writing – and bringing the show to an end with the final words of his final play. A fitting finale to Farewell GBS.”