Saturday, 16 March 2013

Theatre of the Dales - Literary Lovers

Jane Oakshott, Dave Robertson, Maggie Mash 

Mary Francis writes:
This was a performance by members of Theatre of the Dales in association with Trio Literati - and, as always, they were a joy to watch! Literary Lovers is the very apt title for the adaptation of letters between George Bernard Shaw and two very famous actresses of the day - Ellen Terry and Mrs. Patrick Campbell (who seems to have been known to her friends as Mrs. Pat).

Dave Robertson was a wonderful Shaw, with his delightful leading ladies being Maggi Mash as Ellen Terry and Jane Oakshott as Mrs. Pat - both inhabiting their roles beautifully.

From today’s perspective, it is quite remarkable that Shaw - a prodigious worker in so many literary fields, - should have written over 250,000 letters apparently and conducted such amazing correspondences with a range of different people. Over 3000 letters survive from his relationship with Ellen Terry, whom he vowed never to meet in person, and in them he is sometimes loving, sometimes chiding, sometimes full of advice, sometimes exasperated. With Mrs. Pat he seems to have begun, in his role as theatre critic, by praising highly or criticizing strongly her various stage performances, but later became quite infatuated with her. With both women, though sometimes they appear to have been grateful for his advice and suggestions, one senses his exasperation as they ignore his business ideas in particular - and indeed his feelings about the men in their lives!

But it is not only Shaw’s character that comes across so strongly from these letters and their adaptation, for the two actresses write with equal affection, passion and, very often, equal conviction, - and they generally know their own minds very well indeed! They are very real women and it is so good to hear their voices.

Many thanks to the three performers for an entrancing show! 

No comments:

Post a Comment