The Online Stage heard but not seen

George Bernard Shaw


The Dark Lady of the Sonnets

Making his way to a tryst with his “dark lady” near the royal palace the young playwright William Shakespeare encounters a mysterious woman in a cloak. Mistaking her for his lady friend, he accosts her in a familiar fashion, only to discover, to his dismay, that she is in fact the queen. He overcomes his initial discomfort, and takes advantage of the situation to make a petition for royal support to establish a national theatre.

Shaw’s play had two purposes:
• To deflate the reputation of Shakespeare for whom Shaw felt a lifelong rivalry;
• To provide support for a campaign to establish a national theatre in 1916, the tercentenary of Shakespeare’s death.

As with many of his plays, Shaw wrote a lengthy preface, which has been included in this recording.

Preface narrated by Noel Badrian

Cast
The Man (William Shakespeare) - Peter Tucker 
The lady/Queen Elizabeth - Danielle Cohen
The Dark Lady - Erin Louttit
The Beefeater/Warder - Denis Daly
Stage directions – Noel Badrian


LInk to audio:

The Dark Lady of the Sonnets

 Pygmalion

In the Greek legend, a sculptor, Pygmalion,  created a statue of a woman so beautiful that he fell in love with it.  Later the goddess Aphrodite responded to his earnest prayers and brought the statue, named Galatea,  to life.   Shaw’s Pygmalion is a fussy unmarried professor of phonetics, Henry Higgins, who claims that he could train an uneducated person off the street to speak so that he or she could pass as a member of the aristocracy.  His Galatea is Eliza Doolittle, who sells flowers at Covent Garden and whose father is a dissipated but cunning vagrant.   Higgins finds Eliza a surprisingly apt pupil,  but with her new found skill in elocution comes a streak of independence, which threatens to upset the complacent harmony of his domestic life.

Like many of Shaw’s plays, Pygmalion includes a preface,  as well as an afterword in which Shaw relates the further history of Eliza as she learns how to incorporate her training by Higgins into her new lifestyle.
This production includes readings of the preface and the afterword.


Cast
Narrator: Grace Garrett
Eliza Dolittle: Arielle Lipshaw 
Henry Higgins: Jeff Moon 
Colonel Pickering: Denis Daly
Clara Eynsford-Hill:  Amanda Friday
Mrs Eynsford-Hill and Mrs Pearce:  Sara Morsey 
Bystander and Mrs Higgins:  Sarah Mitchell 
Sarcastic Bystander and Alfred Dolittle:  Alan Weyman 
Parlour-Maid:  Sarah Bacaller 
Freddy Eynsford-Hill:  Mark Crowle-Groves 

Audio edited by Denis Daly


Link to audio:
Pygmalion

 Androcles and the Lion

 George Bernard Shaw based his "religious pantomime" Androcles and the Lion on the ancient fable of the runaway slave who pulls a painful thorn from a lion's paw, thereby making a lifelong friend. Shaw explained that his play was in part a reaction to the huge success of J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan: "I wrote Androcles to show what a play for children should be like."


This tale of a puny Greek tailor triumphing over the Roman emperor is, as always with Shaw, a commentary on the politics of his time, with the emperor standing in for the British government and, indeed, all repressive regimes. 

Androcles and the Lion will delight audiences of all ages by alternating laughter with pathos, philosophy with fun, and satire with sincerity. 




Cast 

  • Narrator (G.B. Shaw) - Ben Stevens 
  • Androcles - Jeff Moon 
  • Megaera - Sara Morsey 
  • Centurion - Alan Weyman 
  • The Captain - Craig Franklin
  • Lavinia - P.J. Morgan
  • Lentullus - Steve Gough
  • Metellus - Noel Badrian
  • Spintho - Andrew Coleman
  • Ferrovius - John Burlinson 
  • The Call Boy - Grace Keller-Scotch 
  • The Editor - Ron Altman 
  • The Menagerie Keeper - David Prickett 
  • Caesar/The Emperor - Peter Tucker 
  • Secutor - Denis Daly 
  • The Retiarius - Marty Krz  
 

Audio edited by John Burlinson


Link to audio:

Androcles and the Lion


 Saint Joan

According to George Bernard Shaw Joan of Arc was in fact one of the first Protestant martyrs. She was one of the first apostles of Nationalism, and the first French practitioner of Napoleonic realism in warfare. She also refused to accept the specific woman's lot, and dressed and fought and lived as men did.  Shaw’s exploration of the story of this ingenuous and eponymous heroine is set in six scenes and an epilogue, which takes place on 1456, when the church cleared Joan of the charge of heresy and condemned her accusers of corruption.  The ghost of Joan appears and, later, an emissary from the year 1920, to announce Joan’s canonization. 

This production also includes a very condensed version of Shaw's lengthy preface.



Cast
Narrator and Duchess de la Trémouille - Anna Grace
Robert de Baudricourt, Sentry and Courcelles - Graham Scott
Joan - Amanda Friday
Bertrand, D'Estivet and Gentleman - Jeff Moon
Archbishop and First Assessor - David Stifel
De la Trémouille, John de Stogumber and Executioner - Denis Daly
Steward and Warwick - Alan Weyman
La Hire, Second Assessor and English Soldier - Phil Benson
Bluebeard and Ladvenu - David Shears
Charles (Dauphin) - Tom Saer
Dunois and Third Assessor - Andy Harrington
Cauchon - Peter Tucker
Inquisitor - Noel Badrian
Page - Sarah Bacaller

Audio edited by Denis Daly


Link to audio:
Saint Joan

 The Man of Destiny

Fresh off his victory at The Battle of Lodi, Napoleon is planning to enjoy his lunch when a lieutenant arrives with the bad news that the dispatches he had been carrying were stolen. Infuriated, Napoleon threatens him with being court martialed unless he can recover them. A woman appears who claims to know about the theft. Unconvinced of her story, Napoleon and the woman enter into a battle of wits in true Shaw style. Will the conqueror of worlds end up conquered by a woman?

CAST:
Napoleon: Rob Goll
The Strange Lady: Amanda Friday
Lieutenant: David Shears
Giuseppe: Graham Scott
Narrator: Anna Grace


Audio edited by Amanda Friday


Link to audio:

The Man of Destiny



 The Devil's Disciple

The Devil’s Disciple is the first installment of a trilogy, Three Plays for Puritans, which followed Shaw’s earlier dramatic collections, Plays Pleasant and Plays Unpleasant.

The action is set during the American war of Independence. Richard Dudgeon, who has become an outcast from his puritanical family due to his religious apostasy, returns home on the death of his father. Much to everyone’s surprise, it is revealed that the father changed his will shortly before his death and has left the bulk of the estate to Richard. Now that he is lord of the manor, Richard asserts himself and declares his opposition to the colonial British authorities. Later, he is arrested by the British and sentenced to death but is rescued in the nick of time by a local militia commanded by Anthony Anderson, who, ironically, is a pastor.


Cast
Narrator - Alan Weyman 
Mrs. Dudgeon - Elizabeth Klett
Essie - Grace Garrett
Christy Dudgeon and Chaplain - Andy Harrington
Anthony Anderson - Jeff Moon
Judith Anderson - Amanda Friday
Uncle William Dudgeon and General Burgoyne - Ron Altman
Uncle Titus Dudgeon and Major Swindon - Chris Marcellus
Richard Dudgeon - Ted Wenskus
Hawkins and the Sergeant - Russell Gold

Audio edited by Denis Daly.


Link to audio:

The Devil's Disciple

                                                                                            


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