City Stage New West will present Shaw Shorts!, an evening of naughty Edwardian theatrical hijinks, at New Westminster’s opulent Galbraith Manor, from January 24 through February 5. The show opens with the rollicking How He Lied to Her Husband, a one-act comedy by George Bernard Shaw, and ends with Love Letters to Mrs. Patrick Campbell—a new telling of the story of Shaw’s own scandalous affair with his muse, Beatrice Stella Campbell, based directly on their historical correspondence, edited and arranged by Renée Bucciarelli, City Stage New West’s producing artistic director.
“The Galbraith couldn’t be a more perfect setting for these pieces,” said Bucciarelli. “It is exactly the right period for a Shaw comedy, built in 1892 in the Queen Anne revival style. We co-produced Freud’s Last Session there a couple of years ago—a World-War II era play–and have been thinking ever since of doing another site-and-time-specific piece there. It’s an incredibly intimate and sensual experience for the audience and the actors when the entire House becomes the set for the shows—quite transporting.” The Galbraith’s ornate period drawing room is the setting for the matrimonial boxing ring of How He Lied to Her Husband. In this comedy of manners, the gloves quickly come off, and when “He”, “She”, and “Her Husband” hilariously duke it out, all bets are off—Shaw turns all expectations on their heads. This gem of a bedroom farce, which Shaw wrote to parody his own mega-hit Candida, features multi-award-winning veteran actor Simon Webb as “Her Husband”, Luc Roderique (a Jessie-Award-winning Bard on the Beach regular) as “He”, and Renee Bucciarelli as “She”. Jessie Award-winning director Laura McClean, recipient of the 2015 Elsa Roberts Directing Prize directs.
Love Letters to Mrs. Patrick Campbell amply reveals Shaw’s own real-life amorous shenanigans. Culled from hundreds of scandalous love letters between him and Beatrice Stella Campbell–one of the great theatrical stars of her time—Love Letters runs the course of their passionate, creative, and challenging relationship, while shedding light on Shaw’s work, creative process, and sources of inspiration.
George Bernard Shaw was a literary giant of astonishing range whose modern ideas shocked Victorian sensibilities and influenced political and cultural thought. The only Nobel Prize laureate to also win an Academy Award, he prolifically wrote music, art, and theatre criticism, social, religious, and political commentary, and plays that, according to his greatest biographer, combined a “mixture of rare sense and inspired nonsense that the world has come to refer to as Shavian” (Michael Holroyd). He is considered one of the greatest English playwrights.
Shaw Shorts! Presented by City Stage West, directed by Laura McLean | Venue: Galbraith House, 131 Eighth Street, New Westminster | Map: http://goo.gl/maps/z5moq | Box Office: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2716145 |Run: January 24-February 5 – 7:30pm, 2pm matinees on Jan 28, 29, Feb 4 & 5. | More: http://www.citystagenewwest.org/