"short play is beautifully directed"
by Aline Waites for remotegoat on 18/10/18

A little Shavian gem that is not within the familiar Shavian oeuvre. It was originally intended to be a scene in Back to Methuselah but he deleted the scene before it s first production in 1922.

At the Pentameters it is certainly well performed with a very talented company of actors. The buzz expression of the piece is ‘Creative Evolution’, which turns up in the preface to Methuselah..

Set in the Library of Franklyn Barnabas in Hampstead 1922, Franklyn Barnabas is played by Edwin Flay, but oddly enough this is not the principal player in the comedy. His wife Clara left him a week ago and he is feeling grumpy. They do not get on at all well. Clara is what Frank calls A Blue Stocking. She is involved in and very keen on he British Empire and believes in India and what the British are doing there. Nevertheless, She is involved in all sorts of unusual subjects like Yoga, Karma and Indian culture. Frank’s brother Conrad (Anthony Wise) tries to remind him to be happy with his new found freedom Conrad is a bachelor and intends to stay that way. He wants to rebel against all institutions , Marriage, the Clergy and all University professors.

But then Immenso Champernoon, Clara’s brother arrives son the scene. Immenso is played by Jonas Cemm – an amazing reproduction of the picture of G.K. Chesterton on the programme cover – though much younger. The role is Shaw’s joke with his best friend G.K imagining him as a young man. Clara , played by Laura Fitzpatrick arrives back on the scene much to the annoyance of Rosie, her very sophisticated friend, who has her eye on Franklyn. This is an erudite and very funny performance from Julia Faulkner as the femme-fatale who can talk rings round Immenso. Rosie has been married three times and now believes she should have Franklyn but is disappointed to find that Clara has returned.

Shaw has given her so many quotable lines ‘Women are trained not to speak the truth’

‘Beauty is subjective, Ugly is objective’

This very short play is beautifully directed by Michael Friend who is an artist seeped in the works of Shaw. A good find. Plus a cosy period set with many nineteen twenties artefacts and paintings. designed and painted by John Dalton. Production is by Leonie Scott Matthews.

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