Alex Bhat as Major Sergius Saranoff
at the Orange Tree Theatre
Photo by Ellie Kurttz
057 – Arms and the Man, by George Bernard Shaw
Arms and the Man was George Bernard Shaw’s first public success as playwright when it premiered in the West End of London in 1894, and as it happens it is the first play by Shaw that we have covered on the podcast. The play is both an effervescent romantic comedy and a telling satire of love, war and social pretension. As we record this episode it is being revived in a joyous production at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, south-west London, directed by its outgoing Artistic Director Paul Miller.
My guest to help us survey the battlefield of love in late 19th century Bulgaria is Shaw expert, Ivan Wise. Ivan was the editor of The Shavian, the journal of the Shaw Society from 2005 to 2010.
Ivan was the editor of The Shavian, the journal of the Shaw Society, for five years from 2005 to 2010. He has lectured on Shaw at the Carlow Festival in Ireland, the Shaw Festival in Canada and at Shaw’s Corner in Hertfordshire, and has written about Shaw for the Times Literary and Higher Education Supplements. He was recently the expert witness on Shaw on BBC Radio 4’s Great Lives.
Ivan also presents the podcast Better Known, which asks guests to nominate six things that they love that they think should be better known.
Ivan recommended The Philanthropist by Christopher Hampton.
The Footnotes to our episode on George Bernard Shaw’s romantic comedy Arms and the Man include further observations on Shaw’s satire of social pretensions, as well as references to a few of the great names who have taken on the role of Major Sergius Saranoff.
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Photo by Helen Murray.
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