Exploring the greatest new and classic plays

SUPPORT OUR PODCAST BY BECOMING A PATRON
CLICK HERE

Ivan Wise

Ivan Wise

Ivan Wise

Ivan Wise 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.

Recommended Play(s)

Ivan recommended The Philanthropist by Christopher Hampton.

 

 

 

 

 

057 – Arms and the Man, by George Bernard Shaw

057 – Arms and the Man, by George Bernard Shaw

Alex Bhat as Major Sergius Saranoff
at the Orange Tree Theatre
Richmond 2022-23
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 Wise

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.

Recommended Play

Ivan recommended The Philanthropist by Christopher Hampton.

Photo © Marc Brenner
We have footnotes for this episode …

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.

Become a Patron!

Since I launched The Play Podcast in April 2020, I have managed to eschew any form of advertising or sponsorship, and I would like to continue to produce the podcast without doing so. I therefore invite you to help me to continue to make the podcast by becoming a Patron.
Additional benefits available to Patrons include Footnotes on the plays covered in the podcast, as well as exclusive access to The Play Review.

For details click here

Thank you very much for listening and for your support.
Douglas

The Texts
If you are interested in buying the play text or other related books, we’d be delighted if you choose to purchase them from our selected partners Bookshop.org and Blackwell’s. Not only will you be supporting independent booksellers, we will also earn a small commission on every book you purchase, which helps to keep the podcast going. Click on the cover to buy from our chosen partner. Thank you.
You might also be interested in …
057 – Arms and the Man, by George Bernard Shaw

057 – Arms and the Man, by George Bernard Shaw

G.B. Shaw’s Arms and the Man is both a sparkling romantic comedy and a telling satire of love, war and social pretension. It was Shaw’s first public success as a playwright when it premiered in London in 1894, and is currently enjoying an acclaimed revival at the Orange Tree theatre in Richmond, Surrey.

I’m joined by Shaw expert Ivan Wise, who is a previous editor of The Shavian, the journal of the Shaw Society.

056 – Good, by C.P. Taylor

056 – Good, by C.P. Taylor

C.P. Taylor’s powerful, cautionary play Good charts how an ostensibly ‘good’ person can become not just complicit to evil behaviour, but an active participant. Professor John Halder’s creeping moral compromise as he joins the Nazi elite in 1930’s Germany is a disturbing reminder of the dangers of populist political crusades.

The play is currently being revived at the Harold Pinter theatre in London with David Tennant in the role of John Halder, and I’m delighted to be joined by the production’s director, Dominic Cooke, to explore the contemporary resonances of this provocative play.

055 – Spring Awakening, by Frank Wedekind

055 – Spring Awakening, by Frank Wedekind

Frank Wedekind’s dark, expressionist play Spring Awakening is a cautionary portrait of adolescent angst and rebellion against oppressive social strictures and family pressures. Its frank depiction of sex and violence remains shocking more than 130 years after it was written, and it is the unlikely source of the award-winning modern musical of the same name.

I’m delighted to be joined by Professor Karen Leeder to explore the contemporary controversies and enduring relevance of this extraordinary play.