23 September 2006: Shaw, Too True to Be Good

Shaw Festival. Court House Theatre. Directed by Jim Mezon

Meanwhile, we saw the production of this late play by Shaw, and perhaps I should simply reserve judgment. The acting was, as usual, first rate, the pace very crisp, the production values made the most of. But I felt that Shaw’s well-known practical sense of theatre enabled him to write a sort of playable struc­ture-less extravaganza that served merely as a platform for a lot of Shavian pet subjects and pet peeves, with a final, peroratorial attempt (put into the mouth of the preacher / burglar) to move us to think seminal but ultimately vague and unproductive thoughts about what it means, finally, to be human.

The play may read better than it plays; or, to put the same point another way, you could get through the script in less than the nearly three hours it would take you to sit through this production. But the reading would have involved less effort, time, and expense. I have a large appetite for theatre, but I could’ve done without seeing a production of this play. Reluctant though I am to admit it, my conclusion is that the game was not worth the candle.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

An American Playgoer at Home by Joseph Donohue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book