Plays

Arms and the Man

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Although Arms and the Man derives its title from a translation of Virgil’s phrase ‘arma virumque’ in the Aeneid, it does not reflect the subject or mood of the classical epic poem about mythic heroes waging war. Rather, the play is a light-hearted mixture of domestic and romantic comedy. Additionally, although the Serbo-Bulgarian war of 1885 provides a backdrop for the play, and military action is often discussed amongst the characters, it is never enacted.

The play predominantly deals with class conflict and twisted love affairs, detailing the illicit romance between Raina Petkoff and fugitive Swiss officer Captain Bluntschli, and the equally salacious relationship between Raina’s fiancé, Major Sergius Saranoff, and housemaid Louka. Despite the secrecy of these flirtations, there exist two very obvious tokens of the couples’ respective affection onstage – Saranoff’s coat that Raina gives to Bluntschli, and the bruise that Saranoff leaves on Louka’s arm. As such, George Bernard Shaw renders his somewhat commonplace plot line more interesting with a satirical self-awareness, imbuing the text with obvious theatricality, whimsy, and even burlesque. Rather than imparting a sense of realism, Shaw’s comedy is illusory, fictional, and overtly performative.

Arms and the Man debuted on the London stage in 1894.

audio Arms and the Man

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

It's 1885, and Raina's bourgeois Bulgarian family is caught up in the heady patriotism of the war with Serbia. The beautiful, headstrong Raina eagerly awaits her fiancé's victorious return from battle - but instead meets a soldier who seeks asylum in her bedroom. This is one soldier who definitely prefers romance and chocolate to fear and bullets. War may be raging on the battlefield, but it's the battle of the sexes that heats up this extraordinary comedy and offers very different notions of love and war.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Al Espinosa, Jeremy Sisto, Teri Garr, Anne Heche, Micahel Winters, Jason Kravits and Sarah Rafferty.

Featuring: Al Espinosa, Jeremy Sisto, Teri Garr, Anne Heche, Micahel Winters, Jason Kravits, Sarah Rafferty

Arrah-na-Pogue

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Written in 1864 and set during the Irish rebellion of 1798, Arrah na Pogue is an rollicking tale of romance and misadventure with rascally rebels, despicable villains and love-struck youths.

As night falls on the Wicklow mountains, the popular but incorrigible rebel Beamish MacCaul is lying in wait. He’s out to ambush the cowardly rent-collector Michael Feeny and collect some rent from him in turn. That done, he’s off to marry Fanny Power. Down in the valley, love is in the air for Shaun the Post and the play’s heroine Arrah Meelish too. But Arrah has a secret, and Michael Feeny has found it out. As Shaun and Arrah celebrate their wedding, revenge comes a-calling. Now love must conquer all – including the hangman’s noose. The play is brim-full of Boucicault’s trademark comic roguery, farce and melodrama.

The Blinding Light  

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Howard Brenton's play The Blinding Light is about the playwright August Strindberg, focussing on a period of crisis in his life when, in 1896, he suffered a mental breakdown in a hotel room in Paris. The play was first performed at the Jermyn Street Theatre, London, on 6 September 2017.

The play is set in February 1896 in a squalid top-floor room in the Hotel Orfila, Rue d’Assas, Paris. The room is occupied by the famous Swedish playwright August Strindberg, who, having abandoned theatre, is living a life of squalid splendour, attempting to make gold by finding the philosopher’s stone, the secret of creation. As his grasp on reality weakens, his first two wives, Siri and Frida, visit him to bring him to his senses. But their interventions spin out of control.

In an introduction to the published script, Howard Brenton writes: 'I wrote The Blinding Light to try to understand the mental and spiritual crisis that August Strindberg suffered in February, 1896. Deeply disturbed, plagued by hallucinations, he holed up in various hotel rooms in Paris, most famously in the Hotel Orfila in the Rue d’Assas. ... Before and after the crisis in Paris he always wanted to make the theatre more real, at first by being true to the minutiae of everyday life – the famous cooking on stage in Miss Julie – then by trying to stage psychological states so vividly you think you are dreaming wide awake. By ‘realist’ or expressionist’ means he wanted audiences to see the world in a new light.'

The Jermyn Street Theatre production was directed by Tom Littler with a set designed by Cherry Truluck for Lucky Bert. It was performed by Laura Morgan, Jasper Britton (as August), Susannah Harker and Gala Gordon.

audio Candida

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

Shaw’s warm and witty play challenged conventional wisdom about relationships between the sexes. A beautiful wife must choose between the two men who love her. A Court Theatre Company co-production.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Tom Amandes, Christopher Cartmill, Rebecca MacLean, David New, Nicholas Rudall and JoBeth Williams.

Featuring: Tom Amandes, Christopher Cartmill, Rebecca MacLean, David New, Nicholas Rudall, JoBeth Williams

Creditors (trans. Greig)

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Anxiously awaiting the return of his new wife, Adolph finds solace in the words of a stranger. But comfort soon turns to destruction as old wounds are opened, insecurities are laid bare and former debts are settled.

Regarded as Strindberg's most mature work, Creditors is a darkly comic tale of obsession, honour and revenge. David Greig's version premiered at the Donmar Warehouse, London, in September 2008.

Cuckold Ubu

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Alfred Jarry’s Cuckold Ubu (Ubu Cocu) is the second in his cycle of Ubu plays about Pa Ubu, the grotesquely comical character first encountered in King Ubu (Ubu Roi).

This version is translated by Kenneth McLeish, who in his introduction to the published text calls the play 'the darkest and most surreal of the [Ubu] plays.' It is relatively short compared to its predecessor King Ubu, and is incomplete: Jarry never produced a definitive version of the play. He is believed to have begun its composition in 1897, a year after the premiere of King Ubu, and it was performed in various versions during his lifetime. It is written in the same style as King Ubu, with a characteristic combination of surrealism, ribaldry and biting satire.

The action of the play is summarised by McLeish as follows: 'Pa Ubu takes up residence in the home of Peardrop, a breeder of polyhedra, and he and his Barmpots tyrannise the neighbourhood, despite the efforts of Pa Ubu’s Conscience and Peardrop to stop them. There is war, led on Peardrop’s side by Memnon (the singing Egyptian statue with whom Ma Ubu is cuckolding Pa Ubu) and by the banker Swankipants, and eventually a crocodile appears in true Punch-and-Judy style to chase off all the others. (We don’t know whether it does or not: the play as it survives is incomplete.)'

audio Cyrano de Bergerac

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

Cyrano is a brash, strong-willed man of many talents whose whimsical aptitude for the spoken word is overshadowed by an attribute that is iconic, outrageous and gigantic—his nose. How can the curiously-snouted Cyrano ever hope to win the affections of the beautiful Roxane? Includes a conversation with Sue Lloyd, author of “The Man Who Was Cyrano: A Life of Edmond Rostand.” An L.A. Theatre Works full cast recording, featuring Caroline Aaron, Hugo Armstrong, Kalen Harriman, Gregory Itzin, Hamish Linklater, Anna Mathias, Morgan Ritchie, Jason Ritter, André Sogliuzzo, Devon Sorvari, and Matthew Wolf Directed and adapted for radio by Barry Creyton and recorded before a live audience.

Featuring: Caroline Aaron, Hugo Armstrong, Kalen Harriman, Gregory Itzin, Hamish Linklater, Anna Mathias, Morgan Ritchie, Jason Ritter, André Sogliuzzo, Devon Sorvari, Matthew Wolf

audio The Devil's Disciple

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

Shaw stands “do or die” melodrama on its head in this tale set during the American Revolution. A young hero who disdains heroism makes the ultimate sacrifice for honor and country.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Jennifer Albright, Pat Carroll, Stanton Davis, Bruce Davison, Richard Dix, Richard Dreyfuss, David Bryon Jackson, Lisa Pelikan, Derek Smith and Jon Tindle.

Featuring: Jennifer Albright, Pat Carroll, Stanton Davis, Bruce Davison, Richard Dix, Richard Dreyfuss, David Bryon Jackson, Lisa Pelikan, Derek Smith, Jon Tindle

video The Devil’s Disciple (BBC film adaptation)

BBC Video
Type: Video

The Revolutionary War serves as the backdrop for this brilliant satire penned by Bernard Shaw. Self-professed ‘devil's disciple’ Dick Dudgeon (Mike Gwilym) -- who long ago scorned the piety and traditional values of his mother (Elizabeth Spriggs) -- returns home when his father dies. But after the British army arrives on the scene to lynch the village minister (Patrick Stewart), Dick finds that he can't escape his moral underpinnings.

Credits:

Director: David Jones; Producer: Shaun Sutton; Lighting: Howard King; Playwright: Bernard Shaw; Composer: Stephen Oliver; Designer: Tony Burrough; Costume Designer: Odette Barrow; Script Editor: Stuart Griffiths; Cast: John Cater: Uncle Titus Dudgeon; June Ellis: Mrs Titus Dudgeon; Patrick Godfrey: Lawyer Hawkins; Mike Gwilym: Richard Dudgeon; Timothy Kightley: Chaplain; Larry Lamb: Sergeant; Cheryl Maiker: Essie; Patrick Newell: Uncle William Dudgeon; Ian Richardson: General Burgoyne; Freda Rodgers: Mrs William Dudgeon; Elizabeth Spriggs: Mrs Dudgeon; Patrick Stewart: Anthony Anderson; Graham Turner: Christy Dudgeon; Benjamin Whitrow: Major Swindon; Susan Wooldridge: Judith Anderson.

Distributed under licence from Educational Publishers LLP

audio A Doll House

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

Nora Helmer has everything a young housewife could want: beautiful children, an adoring husband, and a bright future. But when a carelessly buried secret rises from the past, Nora’s well-calibrated domestic ideal starts to crumble. Ibsen’s play is as fresh today as it was when it first stormed the stages of 19th-century Europe.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring:

Calista Flockhart as Nora Helmer

Tony Abatemarco as Dr. Rank

Tim Dekay as Torvald Helmer

Jeannie Elias as Anne-Marie/ Helene

Gregory Itzin as Nils Krogstad

Jobeth Williams as Mrs. Linde

Translated by Rolf Fjelde. Directed by Rosalind Ayres. Recorded before a live audience at the James Bridges Theater at UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television in September, 2011.

Featuring: Tony Abatemarco, Tim DeKay, Jeannie Elias, Calista Flockhart, Gregory Itzin, JoBeth Williams

video A Doll’s House (BBC film adaptation)

BBC Video
Type: Video

Henrik Ibsen struck an early blow for feminism in 1879 with this liberated tale of a wife who rebels. Juliet Stevenson plays Nora who finally revolts against her husband's perception of her as a doll-wife whose opinions count for nothing.

‘A new, pointedly ideological translation by Joan Tinsdale is both sharp and felicitous…Ibsen is served brilliantly’ New York Times.

‘Exceptionally acted’ L. A Times

Credits:

Director: David Thacker; Producer: Simon Curtis; Starring: Juliet Stevenson, Trevor Eve, Geraldine James, Patrick Malahide and David Calder.

Distributed under licence from Educational Publishers LLP

A Doll’s House (trans. Meyer; Student Edition)

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

This Student Edition of A Doll's House provides a wealth of scholarly information, annotation and background to aid the study of Ibsen's seminal play.

The slamming of the front door at the end of Ibsen’s electrifying play shatters the romantic masquerade of Nora and Torvald’s marriage. In their stultifying and infantilised relationship, they have deceived themselves and each other into thinking they are happy. But Nora’s concealment of a loan she had to take out for her husband’s sake forces their frivolous conversation to an irrevocable crisis, until Nora claims her right to individual freedom.

Ibsen’s 1879 play shocked its first audiences with its radical insights into the social roles of husband and wife. His portrayal of his flawed heroine, Nora, remains one of the most striking dramatic depictions of late-nineteenth century woman.

This version is translated by Michael Meyer, and was first performed in 1964 at the Playhouse, Oxford.

A Doll's House (trans. Stephens)

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

The slamming of the front door at the end of Ibsen’s delicate and electrifying play shatters the romantic masquerade of the Nora and Torvald’s marriage. In their stultifying and infantilised relationship, they have deceived themselves and each other into thinking they are happy. But Nora’s concealment of a loan she had to take out for her husband’s sake forces their frivolous conversation to an irrevocable crisis, until Nora claims her right to individual freedom.

Ibsen’s 1879 play shocked its first audiences with its radical insights into the social roles of husband and wife. His portrayal of his flawed heroine, Nora, remains one of the most striking dramatic depictions of late-nineteenth century woman.

This version is translated by Olivier Award-winning playwright Simon Stephens, and was first performed at the Young Vic, London on 29 June 2012

Dorothea's Story (Play Two from The Middlemarch Trilogy)

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Dorothea's Story is part of The Middlemarch Trilogy, a three-part stage adaptation by Geoffrey Beevers of George Eliot's novel Middlemarch (published 1871-2).

The Middlemarch Trilogy comprises three interconnected plays (Dorothea's Story, The Doctor's Story and Fred and Mary's Story) telling the story of Eliot's fictitious town of Middlemarch from the perspective of three different sets of characters: from county, town and countryside. They were first performed at the Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond, in 2013. Dorothea’s Story opened on 23 October.

In Dorothea’s Story, set among the big houses of the local aristocracy of Middlemarch, young, intelligent Dorothea is so enamoured of the pedantic Reverend Casaubon that she marries him, much to everyone’s disbelief. But her friendship with Casaubon’s young cousin Will Ladislaw arouses suspicions in her new husband, who will do anything to thwart their mutual affection.

The Orange Tree production was directed by Geoffrey Beevers and designed by Sam Dowson. The cast was Georgina Strawson, Daisy Ashford, Christopher Ettridge, Christopher Naylor, Jamie Newall, Liz Crowther, Ben Lambert, Michael Lumsden, NiamhWalsh, David Ricardo-Pearce and Lucy Tregear.

In his introduction to the published script (Nick Hern Books, 2014), Geoffrey Beevers writes, 'I’ve always loved the challenge of huge themes in intimate spaces, where the principle must be, not: ‘What can we do with this?’ but: ‘What can we do without? How can we tell this story, as simply as possible, so the story will shine through?’ I wanted to use only her words, a few actors and a minimum of setting, and leave as much as possible to the audience’s imagination.'

audio Dracula (adapt. Morey)

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

Before Twilight and True Blood, only one vampire commanded “the children of the night.” In this blood-thirsty tale of unholy terror, Count Dracula slips into Victorian London with a cargo of his native Transylvanian soil - so he can rest between victims. The city seems helpless against his frightful power, and only one man, Dr. Van Helsing, can stop the carnage. But to do this, he must uncover the vampire’s lair and pierce his heart with a wooden stake.

Program note from Rosalind Ayres, director of the live performance by L.A. Theatre Works: “For centuries man has dreamed of a life beyond death. Chinese Emperors were buried with clay armies to protect them in the next world. Egyptian Pharaohs were entombed with all the belongings they would need in the afterlife. But how might it be possible to cheat death itself? Well, try the myth of the Vampire. One who, by constantly drinking the ‘life force,’ the blood of others, could ensure eternal survival. In Charles Morey's dramatization of Bram Stoker's 1897 novel, the creed of the Vampire and the Christian belief in 'life everlasting' is juxtaposed. It's the eternal struggle between good and evil. Plus, the confidence of scientific beliefs and theory, marred only by that uncomfortable shaft of inexplicable fear when something goes 'Bump' in the night. Enter Dracula...” An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring: David Selby as Abraham Van Helsing John Glover as Renfield Simon Templeman as Count Dracula Matthew Wolf as Arthur Holmwood Moira Quirk as Lucy Westenra Lisa O’hare as Mina Murray Harker Nick Toren as Dr. John Seward Karl Miller as Jonathan Harker André Sogliuzzo as Maxwell and others Sheelagh Cullen as Mrs. Westenra and others Denise Carole as Tart and others Directed by Rosalind Ayres. Recorded before a live audience at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles.

Featuring: Denise Carole, Sheelagh Cullen, John Glover, Karl Miller, Lisa O'Hare, Moira Quirk, David Selby, Andre Sogliuzzo, Simon Templeman, Nick Toren, Matthew Wolf

The Duchess of Padua

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

The Duchess of Padua is a tragic melodrama that centres around a young man named Guido Ferranti who has come to Padua to learn the secret of his birth. There he is told that his father's life was ruined by the current duke of Padua; Guido is convinced that he should revenge his father's life by murdering the duke. He agrees at first to undertake this mission, but later balks at the task, only for it to be carried out by his lover, Beatrice, the wife of the murdered Duke. The play ends in further bloodshed, with the double suicide of the lovers.

The Duchess of Padua, written in 1883, is Oscar Wilde's second play. Written for, but ultimately rejected by, the American actress Mary Anderson, it finally premiered anonymously at the Broadway Theatre in New York.

audio An Enemy of the People

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

When a small town relies on tourists flocking to its baths, will a report of dangerously polluted waters be enough to shut them down? Henrik Ibsen weighs the cost of public health versus a town’s livelihood in An Enemy of the People.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast recording, featuring: Richard Kind, Gregory Harrison, Rosalind Ayres, Emily Swallow, Josh Stamberg, Tom Virtue, Alan Shearman, Alan Mandell, and Jon Matthews. Additional voices by Sam Boeck, William Hickman, Adam Mondschein, Julia Coulter, and Jeff Gardner. Directed by Martin Jarvis.

Includes an interview with Joel K. Bourne, Jr., former senior environment editor for National Geographic, on man-made environmental disasters, climate change, and the state of the world's water supply.

An Enemy of the People is part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity Series featuring science-themed plays. Major funding for the Relativity Series is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to enhance public understanding of science and technology in the modern world.

Featuring: Rosalind Ayres, Gregory Harrison, Richard Kind, Alan Mandell, Jon Matthews, Alan Shearman, Josh Stamberg, Emily Swallow, Tom Virtue. Additional various voices by Sam Boeck, Julia Coulter, Jeff Gardner, William Hickman, Adam Mondschein

An Enemy of the People (trans. Hampton)

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

The strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone.

Dr Stockmann attempts to expose a water pollution scandal in his home town which is about to establish itself as a spa. When his brother conspires with local politicians and the newspaper to suppress the story, Stockmann appeals to a public meeting - only to be shouted down and reviled as 'an enemy of the people'. Ibsen's explosive play reveals his distrust of politicians and the blindly held beliefs of the masses.

Christopher Hampton's version of Ibsen's classic was first staged at the National Theatre, London, in 1997.

An Enemy of the People (trans. Lenkiewicz)

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Power. Money. Morality. In a tight knit community a shocking discovery comes to light and threatens the lifeblood of the town. Truth and honour are pitched against wild ambition and corruption in Ibsen's emotional maelstrom.

Rebecca Lenkiewicz's version of Ibsen's An Enemy of the People premiered at the Arcola Theatre, London in April 2008.

(the fall of) The Master Builder  

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Halvard Solness has arrived at the pinnacle of his career. He has just been awarded the prestigious Master Builder award, his beautiful wife still loves him, his beautiful secretary still flirts with him and Prince Charles is coming to open his new building tomorrow. Then a knock at the door propels Solness’ past into everyone’s future. The only way is down.

Zinnie Harris’s contemporary take on Henrik Ibsen’s classic, The Master Builder, premiered at West Yorkshire Playhouse in September 2017.

A Florentine Tragedy

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

A Florentine Tragedy is a tragedy in blank-verse set in the sixteenth century. It tells the story of the illicit love between a burgher's wife, Bianca, and the young heir to the throne of Florence, Guido. Guido has come to the house of the burgher Simone to claim Bianca for his own. Encouraged by her, Guido promises a fortune to Simone in exchange for her hand. Simone, though greedy for the money, is not to be swayed so easily, and a fight to the death ensues.

Written in 1894, A Florentine Tragedy exists only as a fragment, often accompanied for the purposes of presentation by an opening scene commissioned from the Irish poet Thomas Sturge Moore by Robert Ross, Wilde's literary executor. Only Oscar Wilde's work is presented here.

Ghosts (trans. Lenkiewicz)

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Norway, 1881. Mrs. Alving is ecstatic when her son Osvald visits after many years abroad. He has returned to celebrate the heroic memory of his dead father. But within hours of Osvald's homecoming his mother is forced to unearth the past and reveal its terrifying ghosts.

Rebecca Lenkiewicz's version of Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts, or Those Who Return, premiered at the Arcola Theatre, London, in a co-production with ATC in July 2009.

The Girl From Maxim's

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Discussing the manner in which a middle-class man is saved from retribution for an apparently illicit tryst by a level-headed woman of supposedly low morals, translator Kenneth McLeish writes that The Girl from Maxim's comes 'close to the Naturalist plays of the period in which bourgeois hypocrisy, especially in sexual matters, was satirised in more serious dramatic form.'

The morning after a heavy drinking session and Dr. Petypon is struggling to remember what he did the night before. Waking on his sofa to a sore head and a chamber in disarray, clarity begins to dawn on him, only to reveal, to his horror, that a show-girl from the Folies-Bergère is sleeping in his bed.

That girl, Shrimp, continues to be insinuated in the Petypons' life, and as the Doctor's wife must be avoided, and his uncle pacified, she proves herself to be a high-kicking, quick-thinking success.

The Girl from Maxim's is perhaps Feydeau's best-known play. It premiered at the Théâtre des Nouveautés, Paris, in 1899.

Heart's Desire Hotel

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

M. Pinglet’s plans for a romantic night at a seedy hotel with his neighbour’s wife, Marcelle, are thrown into disarray by the arrival of his friend Mathieu and his large family , and by his own wife’s close attentions to his comings and goings. Still, he manages to escape to the Heart’s Desire Hotel to meet with Marcelle. Sadly for him, so too does her husband, as well as many of their friends and acquaintances, who run a chaotic rule throughout a hotel which has many beds but no place to rest.

In his introduction, translator Kenneth McLeish writes: 'Heart's Desire Hotel (L'Hotel du libre échange) is justly one of the most famous comedies of assumed identity in the repertoire; the fact that the only couple to achieve any satisfaction is the young Maxime and Victoire, while the older characters remain frightened and frustrated, is entirely in keeping with the traditions of farce going back to classical times.'

Heart's Desire Hotel premiered at the Théâtre des Nouveautés in 1894.

video Hedda Gabler (BBC film adaptation)

BBC Video
Type: Video

Ibsen's classic story of a woman who sets out to destroy her husband and his smug, middle-class attitudes, but instead finds herself having to make a grave decision. This television production is related to the 1991 Abbey Theatre, Dublin production which transferred to the West End. Fiona Shaw had played the lead role in that production which was also directed by Deborah Warner.

Credits:

A BBC production in association with WGBH Boston. Director: Deborah Warner; Writer: Henrik Ibsen; Producer: Simon Curtis. Starring: Fiona Shaw (Mind Games), Brid Brennan, Donal McCann (The Serpent's Kiss), Stephen Rea (The Crying Game), Nicholas Woodeson (The Avengers).

Distributed under licence from Educational Publishers LLP

Hedda Gabler (trans. Friel)

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Hedda Gabler returns, dissatisfied, from a long honeymoon. Bored by her aspiring academic husband, she foresees a life of tedious convention. And so, aided and abetted by her predatory confidante, Judge Brack, she begins to manipulate the fates of those around her to devastating effect.

Brian Friel's version of Ibsen's Hedda Gabler premiered at the Gate Theatre, Dublin, in September 2008, to celebrate the theatre's birthday, eighty years after the Gate's inaugural production of Ibsen's Peer Gynt.

Hedda Gabler (trans. Meyer)

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Hedda Gabler is a hard and brilliant tragedy on the purposelessness of life, and a comment on the difficulty of finding personal fulfilment in the stifling world of late nineteenth century bourgeois society, particularly for women.

The eponymous Hedda is an electrically complex woman bored to death by her suburban life. Recently married to George Tesman, an academic happily absorbed in his obscure research, she returns from their honeymoon to a handsomely furnished house and a meaningless existence. In the drawing room, with an insidious judge, a wayward visionary writer and his loyal wife, she impulsively creates a dark, mercurial, anxious drama.

Ibsen wrote Hedda Gabler in Munich in 1890 shortly before his return to Norway. The play initially met with universal condemnation and misunderstanding. This translation was first performed in 1960 at the 4th Street Theatre, New York.

audio An Ideal Husband

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

A tender love story, a serpentine villainess, a glittering setting in London society and a shower of Wildean witticisms are only a few of the reasons this play has enjoyed hugely successful revivals in London and New York. This 1895 drama also seems eerily prescient, as it explores the plight of a promising young politician, desperate to hide a secret in his past. With empathy and wit, Wilde explores the pitfalls of holding public figures to higher standards than the rest of us.

Includes an interview with Michael Hackett, the Chair of the Department of Theater at the University of California, Los Angeles. In addition to his extensive directorial work for L.A. Theatre Works - which includes plays by Oscar Wilde, Tennessee Williams, and Noel Coward - Michael has directed for the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; the Royal Theatre at the Hague; and the Los Angeles Opera. An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring: Rosalind Ayres as Lady Gertrude Chiltern Jacqueline Bisset as Mrs. Cheveley Paul Gutrecht as Vicomte de Nanjac Martin Jarvis as Sir Robert Chiltern Robert Machray as Phipps Miriam Margolyes as Lady Markby Alfred Molina as Lord Goring Jim Norton as Lord Caversham Yeardley Smith as Mabel Chiltern Directed by Michael Hackett.

Featuring: Rosalind Ayres, Jacqueline Bisset, Paul Gutrecht, Martin Jarvis, Robert Machray, Miriam Margolyes, Alfred Molina, Jim Norton, Yeardley Smith

audio The Importance of Being Earnest

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

This final play from the pen of Oscar Wilde is a stylish send-up of Victorian courtship and manners, complete with assumed names, mistaken lovers, and a lost handbag. Jack and Algernon are best friends, both wooing ladies who think their names are Ernest, “that name which inspires absolute confidence.” Wilde’s effervescent wit, scathing social satire, and high farce make this one of the most cherished plays in the English language.

Includes an interview with director Michael Hackett, Professor of Theater in the School of Theater, Film and Television at UCLA.

An L.A. Theatre Works full cast performance featuring: James Marsters as Jack Charles Busch as Lady Bracknell Emily Bergl as Cecily Neil Dickson as Lane and Merriman Jill Gascoine as Miss Prism Christopher Neame as Chasuble Matthew Wolf as Algernon Sarah Zimmerman as Gwendolen

Directed by Michael Hackett. Recorded before a live audience at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles.

Featuring: Emily Bergl, Charles Busch, Neil Dickson, Jill Gascoine, James Marsters, Christopher Neame, Matthew Wolf, Sarah Zimmerman

Includes an interview with director Michael Hackett, Professor of Theater in the School of Theater, Film and Television at UCLA.

An L.A. Theatre Works full cast performance featuring: James Marsters as Jack Charles Busch as Lady Bracknell Emily Bergl as Cecily Neil Dickson as Lane and Merriman Jill Gascoine as Miss Prism Christopher Neame as Chasuble Matthew Wolf as Algernon Sarah Zimmerman as Gwendolen

Directed by Michael Hackett. Recorded before a live audience at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles.

Featuring: Emily Bergl, Charles Busch, Neil Dickson, Jill Gascoine, James Marsters, Christopher Neame, Matthew Wolf, Sarah Zimmerman

Includes an interview with director Michael Hackett, Professor of Theater in the School of Theater, Film and Television at UCLA. An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring: James Marsters as Jack Charles Busch as Lady Bracknell Emily Bergl as Cecily Neil Dickson as Lane and Merriman Jill Gascoine as Miss Prism Christopher Neame as Chasuble Matthew Wolf as Algernon Sarah Zimmerman as Gwendolen Directed by Michael Hackett. Recorded before a live audience at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles.

Featuring: Emily Bergl, Charles Busch, Neil Dickson, Jill Gascoine, James Marsters, Christopher Neame, Matthew Wolf, Sarah Zimmerman

The Importance of Being Earnest (New Mermaids)

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest is presented here in the New Mermaids series, complete with its scholarly annotation and context.

Wilde’s ‘trivial play for serious people’, a sparkling comedy of manners, is the epitome of wit and style. The play employs and parodies the conventions of romance, farce and melodrama: identities are discovered, long lost family ties reinstated, and coincidences are savoured.

John (‘Jack’) Worthing lives in the country with his ward Cecily, and her governess, Miss Prism. There he is an exemplary character, a sober and upright member of the community and a Justice of the Peace. But he spends as much time as he can in London, claiming that he has a scapegrace of a younger brother, Ernest, whose frequent scrapes call for Jack’s attendance in town. There, Jack is known to his friends – including Algernon Moncrieff – as Ernest. Algernon, as it happens, has invented a permanent invalid called Bunbury, whose frequent crises of health give Algernon an excuse to gallivanting round the country. When Algernon turns up at Jack’s country house, claiming to be ‘Ernest’, and Jack arrives to announce the death of his dissipated brother, their double lives begin to catch up with them.

The verbal brilliance of the play's highly self-conscious characters hides deep anxieties about social and personal identity. This neatly constructed satire, with its celebrated characters and much quoted dialogue, turns accepted ideas inside out and is generally regarded as Wilde’s masterpiece.

An Italian Straw Hat

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Eugène Labiche's accomplished farce An Italian Straw Hat (Un Chapeau de paille d'Italie) was first produced at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal in Paris on 14 April 1851. It was written in collaboration with Marc Antoine Amédée Michel (1812-68), an old college friend of Labiche's, who, as 'Marc-Michel', worked on more than 100 farces, 50 of them with Labiche.

This version is a translation by Kenneth McLeish.

The action of the play takes place in Paris, in the mid-19th century. Fadinard, a wealthy Parisian bachelor, is about to marry Hélène, daughter of a suburban market-gardener. It is the morning of the wedding, and Hélène, her blustering father Nonancourt and eight cabfuls of guests are expected at any moment. Fadinard has galloped ahead to make final arrangements. On the way he has stopped to rest his horse, and the animal has eaten a straw hat hung on a bush while its owner dallies in the undergrowth with a soldier. The hat-woman and the soldier have followed Fadinard home, and he is horrified to find that the woman is a former girlfriend (with the most jealous husband in Paris). Her soldier lover demands a replacement hat, Fadinard rushes out to find one – and the newly-arrived wedding-party, thinking that he is on his way to the ceremony, jump into their cabs and follow him. The rest of the play is a delirious chase, faster and faster as Fadinard hunts for a replacement hat and the guests hunt Fadinard. It ends only when one of the wedding-guests, Fadinard’s deaf old uncle Vézinet, produces his present, an Italian straw hat identical to the one eaten by the horse: Fadinard’s wedding is saved and the play ends in a whirl of celebration.

In his introduction to the play, Kenneth McLeish writes: 'An Italian Straw Hat takes elements from two of the most popular forms of 19th-century French theatre, vaudeville and the ‘well-made’ play, and marries them. Vaudeville was satirical farce, lampooning the bourgeoisie and using slapstick, dance, song and such stock characters as dodderer, philanderer, pretty girl, jealous husband and peppery soldier. The ‘well-made’ play depended on a tightly-organised plot in which the entire action was motivated by some secret involving the main character, a secret revealed only gradually as the play proceeded, until by the final curtain full knowledge had completely changed everyone’s lives – for the worse in a ‘well-made’ melodrama, for the better in a ‘well-made’ farce.'

An Italian Straw Hat, unusually for a farce, won almost immediate acclaim not only from the public, but from critics and academics alike, one even going so far as to call it ‘Labiche’s Hamlet ’. It was more frequently revived than any other of Labiche’s plays, and when he published his ‘Complete Works’ in 1878, he placed it first in the first volume. In the 80 years after its creation, it received more than 100 productions in France alone, and in 1938 it was taken into the repertoire of the Comédie-Française, where it has remained ever since.

Ivanov (trans. Hare)

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Ivanov is a man paralysed by existential ennui; his self-loathing is by turns ridiculous and pathetic, as Chekhov’s first completed play whips between farce and tragedy.

Ivanov is deep in debt and out of love with his wife Anna, only rising out of his apathy to express disgust at his own ridiculous condition. He is pursued by rumours that he married Anna for her money, only to be frustrated when she was disinherited by her father after converting from Judaism. Anna is now dying of tuberculosis, sharpening Ivanov’s loss of affection into cruelty. The intensity of his crumpled boredom is fascinating – particularly for the young woman Sasha, the daughter of one of his creditors, who declares her passionate love for him when he visits her father’s house for a languid party. Whether he is accepting her advances, or debating the nature of honesty with his wife’s prim doctor, Ivanov is always sullen and self-lacerating; he satirises himself as an imitation Hamlet. Chekov’s tragicomic portrait of depression is uniquely hilarious and devastating.

This version of Ivanov was first performed at the Almeida Theatre, London, in 1997.

Ivanov (trans. Hare)

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Anton Chekhov is one of the undisputed masters of world drama. He is usually thought to hide himself behind his characters and stories, keeping his own personality well off-stage. But when he was young he wrote three plays - Platonov, Ivanov and The Seagull - which, with their thrilling sunbursts of youthful anger and romanticism, reveal a very different playwright from the one known by his mature, more familiar work.

These three blazing dramas, in versions by internationally acclaimed dramatist David Hare, offer the chance to explore the birth of a revolutionary dramatic voice. Each shows a writer progressively freeing himself from the constraints of nineteenth-century melodrama and heralds the shift into the twentieth century, and the birth of the modern stage.

Ivanov premiered as part of the Young Chekhov season at the Chichester Festival Theatre in the autumn of 2015. The plays transferred to National Theatre in the summer of 2016.

Nikolai Ivanov is only 35, a radical and a romantic, but already he’s feeling that he’s thrown his life away. Determined not to become a small-town Hamlet, he hopes one last desperate romance may save him from a society rotten with anti-Semitism and drink.

Jailbird

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Jailbird is an early farce by Georges Feydeau. Tranlsator Kenneth McLeish writes that 'it was one item in a miscellaneous programme of monologues, comic songs and daft poems . . . The piece shows occasional apprentice touches: the inconsequentiality of some of the jokes, for example, climaxing in the very last line of all, suggests a group of students giggling together rather than a single-minded artist fully in control of his effects. But the themes of Feydeau's major works are all here, and the misunderstandings and dazzle of the dialogue show his mastery even at this early age.'

Jailbird takes place in the apartment of the singer Pépita who is struggling to ignore her cuckolded husband, Plumard, as she waits for the arrival of her admirer Taupinier. Into the mix comes the school-teacher Grumpard, posing pseudonymously as Lemercier, a debonair man-about-town, whose sole desire is to meet with the singer he admires from afar.

The lovers though mistake him for a murderer-at-large, also named Lemercier, and go to great lengths to protect themselves from the threat they imagine he poses.

Jailbird or Le Gibier de potence was first produced in 1894 by Le Cercle Volney, a semi-private theatre club, directed by Feydeau himself. He was only 21 at the time.

Jenufa

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

An extraordinary tale of betrayal, murder, love and forgiveness, Gabriela Preissová's Její Pastorkyna (Her Stepdaughter) caused a scandal in Prague where it was first performed in the1890s. Despite worldwide acclaim as Jenufa, an opera by Leoš Janácek, the play has never before been staged in Britain.

Jenufa, adapted by Timberlake Wertenbaker, premiered at the Arcola Theatre, London, in the Natural Perspective Theatre Company's debut production, in October 2007.

John Gabriel Borkman (trans. Eldridge)

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

A scorching indictment of nineteenth century capitalism, Ibsen’s penultimate play paints a devastating picture of selfish ambition.

John Gabriel Borkman paces alone in an upstairs room. Downstairs, his wife Gunhild waits for their son to vindicate the family name. They have lived on separate floors for eight years, following Borkman’s imprisonment for fraud on an enormous scale. Gunhild’s twin sister Ella, who was also in love with Borkman, arrives – she is dying, and comes to lay her claim to Erhart, the nephew whom she brought up during Borkman’s incarceration.

The atmosphere is impossibly suffocating, ready to crack, and the contest over the affections of the reluctant Erhart brings the submerged conflict screaming on to the stage. John Gabriel Borkman is a work of cold poignancy etched with comedy, a portrait of men and women who have nothing left to lose.

This version, translated by David Eldridge, premiered in 2007 at the Donmar Warehouse, London.

King Ubu

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Alfred Jarry's King Ubu (Ubu Roi) is an absurd farce that riffs on several of Shakespeare’s plays and warns of the dangers of tyranny. It is the first in Jarry's cycle of Ubu plays, all featuring the grotesquely comical character of Pa Ubu. Since its first, riotously-received performance at the Théâtre de l’Oeuvre, Paris, in 1896, it has been recognised as a forerunner to the Surrealist and Modernist movements, and has been hugely influential in world drama.

This translation by Kenneth McLeish was commissioned by Hilary Norrish for the BBC World Service, and was first performed in her production by a cast including Alan Armstrong, Alan Corduner, Pip Donaghy, Richard Pearce, Alison Peebles and Emily Richard.

The first stage production, at the Gate Theatre, London, in April 1997, was directed by John Wright, designed by David Roger and performed by Allison Cologna, Frazer Corbyn, Mark Stuart Currie, Stephen Finegold, Jonathan Ferguson, Joanna Holden, Jonny Hoskins, Richard Katz and Asta Sighvats.

In his introduction to the published text, Kenneth McLeish outlines what happens in the play: 'In King Ubu, Pa Ubu is a cowardly toady, one of the hangers-on of Good King Wenceslas of Baloney. Nagged by his fearsome wife Ma Ubu, he gathers a band of Barmpots, led by the obnoxious Dogpile, assassinates Wenceslas and seizes the throne. He and the Barmpots fight Wenceslas’s army, led by Princes Willy, Silly and Billikins, and defeat them. Billikins escapes to the hills, where the ghosts of his ancestors give him a great big sword and order him to organise resistance.

'Ubu starts his reign by crawling to the people, but soon turns into a tyrant, debraining anyone who disagrees with him, murdering all the aristocrats and middle classes and extorting triple taxes from the peasants. The peasants revolt and go over to Billikins – and Dogpile, whom Ubu has rashly insulted, defects to Tsar Alexis of All the Russkies and leads him and his army to attack Baloney and restore Billikins to the throne. Ma Ubu steals the Balonian state treasure and a handsome Balonian soldier, and flees into exile.

'Defeated in battle, Pa Ubu holes up in a cave with his cronies Wallop and McClub, and barely survives when a bear attacks them. Ma Ubu eventually reaches the same cave. She and Pa Ubu make up their differences, give up all claims to the Balonian throne and set off with Wallop and McClub on a voyage of exile to Engelland.'

The Lady from the Sea (trans. Eldridge)

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Ibsen's lyrical and still startlingly modern masterpiece vibrantly explores the constrained social position of women. When the lighthouse keeper's daughter Ellida meets the widower Dr Wangel, she tries to put her long-lost first love far behind her and begin a new life as a wife and stepmother. But the tide is turning, an English ship is coming down the fjord, and the undercurrents threaten to drag a whole family beneath the surface in this passionate and sweeping drama. Ellida must choose between the solid and reliable values of the land and the fluid, mysterious and frightening attraction of the sea.

David Eldridge's translation is subtle, faithful and sensitive to Ibsen's language, and makes this classic play accessible to the English reader without compromising any of the original's intensely poetic and atmospheric tone. This version of The Lady from the Sea was first performed in 2010 at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester.

Lady Windermere's Fan

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

With its author's trademark wit, social satire and outrageous paradox, Wilde’s play shows us the destructiveness of gossip and superficial judgement, and examines the ambiguous sexual morality and gender politics at the heart of the British ruling class.

Lady Windermere has a happy marriage – or, at least, that’s what she believes – until one of London’s society gossips, the Duchess of Berwick, arrives with her daughter to voice her suspicions about an affair Lord Windermere appears to be having. It’s not just the Duchess who has evidence, however. Windermere’s private bank book shows that he’s been giving large sums of money to a ‘Mrs Erlynne’ – on frequent occasions – and he himself even admits to seeing much of the woman. To add insult to injury, Windermere insists that Mrs Erlynne be invited to the ball that is being held for Lady Windermere’s birthday.

Wilde’s exploration of adultery results in a sparkling, satirical critique of society, and of the hypocrisy that lurks behind the etiquette and perfect epigrams.

Lady Windermere’s Fan was first staged in 1892 at the St James Theatre, London.

audio Lady Windermere's Fan

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

The irreverent satire that launched Wilde’s succession of classical comedies. A Lord, his wife, her admirer and an infamous blackmailer converge in this delicious comic feast of scandal. A divinely funny comedy of good girls, bad husbands and the moral hypocrisy of British high society in the late nineteenth century.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring: Gina Field as Lady Agatha Carlisle Judy Geeson as Lady Plymdale Joanna Going as Lady Windermere Arthur Hanket as Mr. Cecil Graham Lisa Harrow as Mrs. Erlynne Dominic Keating as Mr. Hopper Miriam Margolyes as The Duchess of Berwick Roger Rees as Lord Windermere Eric Stoltz as Lord Darlington James Warwick as Lord Augustus Lorton Tom Wheatley as Parker Directed by Michael Hackett. Recorded before a live audience at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.

Featuring: Gina Field, Judy Geeson, Joanna Going, Arthur Hanket, Lisa Harrow, Dominic Keating, Miriam Margolyes, Roger Rees, Eric Stoltz, James Warwick, Tom Wheatley

video Lady Windermere’s Fan (BBC film adaptation)

BBC Video
Type: Video

With its author's trademark wit, social satire and outrageous paradox, Wilde’s play shows us the destructiveness of gossip and superficial judgement, and examines the ambiguous sexual morality and gender politics at the heart of the British ruling class. Lady Windermere has a happy marriage – or, at least, that’s what she believes – until one of London’s society gossips, the Duchess of Berwick, arrives with her daughter to voice her suspicions about an affair. Wilde’s exploration of adultery results in a sparkling, satirical critique of society, and of the hypocrisy that lurks behind the etiquette and perfect epigrams.

Credits:

Director: Tony Smith; Producer: Louis Marks; Playwright: Oscar Wilde; Designer: Don Taylor (1936-2003); Costume Designer: Phoebe de Gaye; Introduced by: Stephanie Turner; Script Editor: David Snodin. Cast: Ian Burford: Parker, John Clive: Mr Dumby, Gloria Connell: Mrs Cowper-Cowper, Kenneth Cranham: Lord Darlington, Diana Fairfax: Lady Jedburgh, Sara Kestelman: Duchess of Berwick Mary Kurowski: Rosalie, Robert Lang: Lord Augustus Lorton, Veronica Lang: Lady Plymdale, Helena Little: Lady Windermere Vivien Lloyd: Lady Stutfield, Geoff Morrell: Mr Hopper, Amanda Royle: Lady Agatha Carlisle, James Saxon: Cecil Graham, Stephanie Turner: Mrs Erlynne, Tim Woodward: Lord Windermere

Distributed under licence from Educational Publishers LLP

La Sainte Courtisane

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Myrrhina, a courtisane, seeks out a hermit who she has heard is beautiful; she hopes to tempt him from his righteous path into a life of earthly love. However, on beholding the cross for the first time, she finds herself instead converting to a life of virtue, while he, who indeed has fallen for her beauty, hopes to take her away as his lover.

Of the play, the critic H. Montgomery Hyde wrote: 'in some ways it is not unlike Salomé and though written in English Wilde may have had it in mind for the French theatre. The paradox of a female sinner converting a righteous male rarely fails to attract an audience and has been used by many other writers notably Somerset Maugham.'

Written in 1894, La Sainte Courtisane exists only as a fragment and was never completed. Here, a line of dots in the text indicates where a new fragment begins.

The Magistrate

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Respected London magistrate Mr. Posket has never done anything shocking in his life; which only makes it more surprising when his stepson, Cis, manages to coax him into an ill-fated night on the town. Following his escape from the police, Posket desperately tries to hide his actions, certain that the truth would ruin his career.

This well-crafted farce was a huge success when it premiered in 1885, and has since been made into a film and a musical. It was most recently revived on the West End in a production starring John Lithgow.

audio The Man Who Had All the Luck

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

The Man Who Had All the Luck is a charming story of the fate of a young Midwestern man whose fortune shines on him while it passes over everyone else around him. The play wrestles with the unanswerable - the question of the justice of fate, and how it is that one man fails and another, no more or less capable, achieves some glory in life.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Emily Bergl, Kevin Chamberlin, Tim DeKay, James Gammon, Lee Garlington, Graham Hamilton, Tom McGowan, Kurtwood Smith, Russell Soder and Tegan West.

Featuring: Emily Bergl, Kevin Chamberlin, Tim DeKay, James Gammon, Lee Garlington, Graham Hamilton, Tom McGowan, Kurtwood Smith, Russell Soder, Tegan West

audio McTeague

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

Stacy Keach stars in this shocking tale of a Polk Street dentist and his wife in 1899 San Francisco. Frank Norris’ powerful insights into the depths of the human soul make this a story of compelling narrative force. This seminal novel about murder, obsession and the destructive effects of greed features an all-star cast including Stacy Keach, Edward Asner, Ed Begley Jr., Hector Elizondo, Helen Hunt, Marsha Mason and many more.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Ed Asner, Rene Auberjonois, Ed Begley Jr., Georgia Brown, Jack Coleman, Bud Cort, Judy Ann Elder, Hector Elizondo, Fionnula Flanagan, Teri Garr, Katherine Helmond, Howard Hessman, Helen Hunt, Amy Irving, Carol Kane, Stacy Keach, Sara Kessler, Nan Martin, Richard Masur, Marsha Mason, Rue McLanahan, Marian Mercer, Judd Nelson, Holly Palance, Judge Reinhold, Franklin Seales, David Selby, Joe Spano, Madeleine Smith, JoBeth Williams, Michael York and Harris Yulen.

Featuring: Ed Asner, Rene Auberjonois, Ed Begley Jr., Georgia Brown, Jack Coleman, Bud Cort, Judy Ann Elder, Hector Elizondo, Fionnula Flanagan, Teri Garr, Katherine Helmond, Howard Hessman, Helen Hunt, Amy Irving, Carol Kane, Stacy Keach, Sara Kessler, Nan Martin, Richard Masur, Marsha Mason, Rue McLanahan, Marian Mercer, Judd Nelson, Holly Palance, Judge Reinhold, Franklin Seales, David Selby, Joe Spano, Madeleine Smith, JoBeth Williams, Michael York, Harris Yulen

Miss Julie (trans. Eldridge)

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

A conflict of sexual passion and social position that is jagged and gripping. Miss Julie is shocking in subject-matter, revolutionary in technique, and was fiercely attacked on publication for immorality.

It is Midsummer in Sweden and Miss Julie, the Count’s daughter, appears in the kitchen, confronting her father’s valet Jean. The restless and electric exchanges between them are a snarl of seduction and contempt, their unseen sexual transgression undoing the restrictions of servility and hierarchy. Strindberg writes with disdain of a woman deformed by her belief that she is equal to man, but Miss Julie emerges as a compellingly mercurial character, tense and hysterical and tragic.

Written in a fortnight and often regarded as Strindberg's masterpiece, the play's premiere at Strindberg's experimental theatre in Denmark in 1889 was banned by the censor and its first public production three years later in Berlin aroused such protests that it was withdrawn after one performance. David Eldridge’s contemporary and faithful translation was first performed in 2012 at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester.

Now You See It

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Now You See It is a tale of love, jealousy, infidelity and hypnotism. Ribadier, the second wife of widow Angèle, evades his wife’s paranoid jealousy by means of his skills as a hypnotist. However, his cosy system begins to fall apart when he reveals his trick to Thommerau, a man seeking to romance Angèle himself.

In his introduction, translator Kenneth McLeish writes: 'Now You See It (Le Sysème Ribadier, written in collaboration with Hennequin in 1892), a darker comedy altogether, subverts the vaudeville tradition, even as it follows it, letting the men's obsessions turn them into mechanistic puppets – in a manner English readers may associate with Orton's characters in Loot or What the Butler Saw – while the heroine's character and personality flower before our eyes. It has one of the smallest casts and tightest construction of any Feydeau farce. It was one of the author's own favourite plays and he revived it in 1909 under a new title, Nothing Known.'

Now You See It was first performed at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal in 1892, the same year as The One That Got Away

The One That Got Away

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Duchotel is going away on a fishing trip, leaving his wife, Léontine, alone for the weekend. Lucky for him he has his friend Moricet to look after her. Lucky for Moricet too, as he is in love with Léontine. Can he whisk her off to his love nest and convince him to love her? And is Duchotel gone fishing at all?

In his introduction, translator Kenneth McLeish writes: 'The One That Got Away (Monsieur chasse!, 1892) is a fine example of Feydeau's 'demented clockwork' style of plotting, an effect much heightened by the smallness of the cast . . . Feydeau, who directed his own plays, always made his actors perform the dialogue of such scenes with utmost seriousness, as if they were high tragedy; the action, by contrast, was speeded up, heightened and mechanistic. Dislocation between the two styles made for hilarity – a production-method still followed in France.'

The One That Got Away was first performed at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal, in 1892.

audio The Picture of Dorian Gray

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

A full cast dramatization of one of the great classics of contemporary Western literature. Dorian Gray, an effete young gentleman, is the subject of a striking portrait by the artist Basil Hallward. Gray’s narcissism is awakened, and he embraces a lifestyle of hedonism and casual cruelties. Increasingly consumed by his own vanity, he is forced to confront his true inner-self, in a manner that is as shocking as it is terrifying.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Steve Juergens, Jim Ortlieb, Colleen Crimmins, Roger Mueller, Thomas Carroll, Paulin Brailsford, Rush Pearson and Martin Duffy.

Featuring: Pauline Brailsford, Thomas Carroll, Colleen Crimmins, Martin Duffy, Steve Juergens, Roger Mueller, Jim Ortlieb, Rush Pearson

Pig in a Poke

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Pig in a Poke, as the title suggests, is a play about a case of mistaken identity: expecting a famous tenor to come and perform in his daughter’s rewriting of Faust, the wealthy sugar-baron Pacarel instead receives, unbeknownst to him, the son of his friend Dufausset.

In his introduction, translator Kenneth McLeish writes: 'Pig in a Poke (Chat en poche was first performed in 1888, a year after Feydeau's first big 'hit', Tailleur pour dames. It is a masterpiece of construction, not so much an arch as a continuous escalation of confusion – and the Meilhac/Halévy influence, in that the characters' apparently ordinary dialogue (the kind of language you might have heard in an drawing room of the time) belies the astounding content of what the people are saying or the thoughts inside their heads . . . Pig in a Poke may be chamber music compared to the grand symphonic structures of A Flea in Her Ear or The Girl from Maxim's, but is also one of his most accomplished works.'

Pig in a Poke premiered at the Théâtre Déjazet, Paris, in 1888.

Pillars of the Community (trans. Adamson)

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Calamity strikes when Bernick's business prowess and pristine reputation are threatened by the revelation of a long-buried secret. Desperate to dodge exposure in the kowtowing local community, Bernick devises a pitiless plan which, by a shocking twist of fate, risks the one life he holds dear.

This rarely performed thriller is set amid a society struggling against the rush of capitalism, the lure of America and the passionate beginnings of the fight for female emancipation.

Samuel Adamson version of Pillars of the Community premiered at the National Theatre, London, in October 2005.

Platonov (trans. Hare)

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Anton Chekhov is one of the undisputed masters of world drama. He is usually thought to hide himself behind his characters and stories, keeping his own personality well off-stage. But when he was young he wrote three plays - Platonov, Ivanov and The Seagull - which, with their thrilling sunbursts of youthful anger and romanticism, reveal a very different playwright from the one known by his mature, more familiar work.

These three blazing dramas, in versions by internationally acclaimed dramatist David Hare, offer the chance to explore the birth of a revolutionary dramatic voice. Each shows a writer progressively freeing himself from the constraints of nineteenth-century melodrama and heralds the shift into the twentieth century, and the birth of the modern stage.

Platanov premiered as part of the Young Chekhov season at the Chichester Festival Theatre in the autumn of 2015. The plays transferred to National Theatre in the summer of 2016.

Set in the blazing heat of a rural summer, irresistible schoolteacher Mikhail Platonov is caught in a whirlwind of lust, dangerous liaisons and vodka.

A Provincial Life

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Born into a bourgeois family, Misail determines to find a way to lead an honest life free from privilege. To his father's disapproval and bewilderment, he renounces his heritage and becomes a workman before moving to the country to manage the estate of the girl that he marries. Over the course of a long summer, his burning sense of injustice and deep integrity exact a devastating forfeit.

Peter Gill's A Provincial Life, based on a novella by Anton Chekhov, opened at the Sherman Cymru, Cardiff, in March 2012 in a production by National Theatre Wales.

audio Salome

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

A dark tale of hubris, lust, and self-destruction … as told by a man who famously fell prey to those same impulses in his own life. Oscar Wilde wrote his original interpretation of the Biblical story of Salomé in French, and the play was so controversial that no theatre in England would produce it for nearly four decades.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast production starring:

Rosalind Ayres as Herodias

James Marsters as Iokanaan

Andre Sogliuzzo as The Young Syrian and others

Kate Steele as Salomé

John Vickery as Herod

Matthew Wolf as Page of Herodias and others

(DIGITAL ONLY: Director Michael Hackett and Wilde scholar Dr. David Rodes discuss Salomé’s history and where it fits stylistically in Wilde’s canon.)

Music by Djivan Gasparyan and Lian Ensemble. Directed by Michael Hackett. Recorded by L.A. Theatre Works before a live audience.

Featuring: Rosalind Ayres, James Marsters, Andre Sogliuzzo, Kate Steele, John Vickery, Matthew Wolf

Salomé

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Salomé is a short, but bewitching tragedy based on the biblical story of King Herod in the New Testament. Telling a tale of lustful desire and power, the language of the play is saturated and verbose, and the imagery, decadent and lush. The sequences of seduction and passion are consistently offset by the grotesque, most evident in the sudden suicide of the Young Syrian, and the presentation of Jokanaan’s severed head on a silver shield. Overall, the play represents the aestheticism of Symbolist drama, while also critiquing the literary movement in its jarring turn of events. It mixes the physicality of human experience with the voice of prophetic transcendence, elevating the artistry of the drama while allowing it to remain accessible to realists.

Wilde wrote Salomé in French in 1891 while residing in Paris, where it also debuted in early 1896. It was later adapted into an operatic version by Richard Strauss, which was enormously successful in Germany. The play was translated into English in 1894; despite the Lord Chamberlain’s ban dating from the Reformation that forbade the representation of biblical characters onstage, it was given five private performances in London between the years of 1905 and 1931. Besides being performed fairly extensively in recent times, Salomé has inspired a multitude of contemporary plays, songs, and films.

Sauce for the Goose

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Pontagnac, good friend of Vatelin, desires Vatelin’s wife, Lucienne, so much that he will betray his friend’s secret: that his friend betrayed his wife with another woman, Maggy. But will that give Pontagnac enough leverage to turn Lucienne towards his desires?

In his introduction, translator Kenneth McLeish writes: 'Sauce for the Goose (Le Dindon), which enjoyed a long run at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal in 1896, is a characteristic 'well-made' grand vaudeville, with a lunatic second act framed by gentler material. It is, however, driven by character. Each person is clearly individuated and the differences between Redillon and Potagnac or Lucienne and Clotilde make the point that two individuals can share the same approach to life, or the same response to unexpected events, but show it in entirely different ways.'

audio The Seagull

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull is considered one of his most haunting and atmospheric character studies. A would-be playwright is at war with his egoistic mother while the town has become intoxicated by a sensational author. And as the alluring newcomer steals away Kosta’s only love, their new romance could have devastating consequences.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring: Calista Flockhart as Irina Nikolayevna Arkadina T.R. Knight as Konstantin Treplev Stephen Collins as Yevgeny Dorn Gordon Clapp as Ilya Shamrayev Logan Fahey as Semyon Medvedenko Cindy Katz as Polina Andreyevna Dakin Matthews as Pyotr Sorin Bess Rous as Masha Josh Stamberg as Boris Alexeyevich Trigorin Kira Sternbach as Nina Directed by Rosalind Ayres. Translated by Christopher Hampton. Recorded by L.A. Theatre Works before a live audience.

Featuring: Gordon Clapp, Stephen Collins, Logan Fahey, Calista Flockhart, Cindy Katz, T.R. Knight, Dakin Matthews, Bess Rous, Josh Stamberg, Kira Sternbach

The Seagull  

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Chekhov’s celebrated masterpiece is given vibrant new life in this dynamic new version by Olivier award-winning playwright Simon Stephens.

Switching effortlessly between the ridiculous and the profound The Seagull forensically examines the transcendence and destructiveness of love. The burning need to create art and how harshly that need can be crushed permeates throughout the play.

Simon Stephen's new adaption of The Seagull received its premiere at the Lyric Hammersmith, London on 3 October 2017.

The Seagull (trans. Hampton)

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

I know now, Kostya, I understand that in our work – doesn't matter whether it's acting or writing – what's important isn't fame or glamour, none of the things I used to dream about, it's the ability to endure.

The Seagull is one of the great plays about writing. It superbly captures the struggle for new forms, the frustrations and fulfilments of putting words on a page. Chekhov, in his first major play, staged a vital argument about the theatre which still resonates today.

Christopher Hampton's version of this classic premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in January 2007.

The Seagull (trans. Hare)

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Anton Chekhov is one of the undisputed masters of world drama. He is usually thought to hide himself behind his characters and stories, keeping his own personality well off-stage. But when he was young he wrote three plays - Platonov, Ivanov and The Seagull - which, with their thrilling sunbursts of youthful anger and romanticism, reveal a very different playwright from the one known by his mature, more familiar work.

These three blazing dramas, in versions by internationally acclaimed dramatist David Hare, offer the chance to explore the birth of a revolutionary dramatic voice. Each shows a writer progressively freeing himself from the constraints of nineteenth-century melodrama and heralds the shift into the twentieth century, and the birth of the modern stage.

The Seagull premiered as part of the Young Chekhov season at the Chichester Festival Theatre in the autumn of 2015. The plays transferred to National Theatre in the summer of 2016.

On a summer’s day in a makeshift theatre by a lake, Konstantin’s cutting-edge new play is performed, changing the lives of everyone involved forever.

The Second Mrs. Tanqueray

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

In his best known social drama, Arthur Wing Pinero attacks the hypocrisy and myth surrounding women in second marriages. Despite the warnings of his friends, the widowed Mr. Tanqueray chooses to marry a lower class woman with a scandalous history. The new Mrs. Tanqueray must struggle to win over her new stepdaughter as she attempts to find balance in her mismatched marriage.

The Second Mrs. Tanqueray expertly utilizes the melodramatic convention of the Woman with a Past to examine the social and gender politics of late Victorian England. The play’s premiere in 1893 made its lead actress, Paula Campbell, a star.

Slave Ubu

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Alfred Jarry’s Slave Ubu (Ubu Enchaîné, ‘Ubu in chains’) is the third in his influential cycle of plays about Pa Ubu, the grotesquely comical character first encountered in King Ubu (Ubu Roi) and then in Cuckold Ubu (Ubu Cocu). Written in 1899, the play was first published in 1900.

This version of the play is translated by Kenneth McLeish, who in his introduction to the published text summarises the action as follows: 'Pa Ubu decides that he has had enough of tyranny, and that the only way to be free is to become a slave. He attaches himself and Ma Ubu to the dear old man Peebock and his daughter Eleutheria, and rules their household. The Three Free Men and their Sergeant Pisseasy (Eleutheria’s fiancé) come to the rescue, and Ma and Pa Ubu are transferred to jail, preparatory to being sold as galley-slaves to Sultan Suleiman of Turkishland. The jail is so comfortable that the Three Free Men and the Populace break in to become convicts themselves. Two convoys of convicts set out to Turkishland, one consisting of the Ubs and the convicts (who have generously exchanged clothes and manacles with their guards) and the other led by Pisseasy. Sultan Suleiman makes them all galley slaves, and they row into the sunset and live happily ever after.'

Spring Awakening

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Spring Awakening is a classic but still startling play, addressing adolescent sexuality at a time when sexual oppression and ignorance made puberty a confusing and terrifying mystery.

Notorious for its supposed pornographic content, the play addresses homosexuality, abuse, abortion, rape, suicide and sadism, with an acute and semi-lyrical directness astonishing for its time. A group of teenagers struggle with fear and curiosity about their growing sexual feelings, while the adults raise a wall of disgust and misinformation.

It is a mosaic of scenes, the mood shifting between comedy and alarm, the characters tense and fiercely etched: a seminal and vastly influential treatment of adolescence, education and generational conflict.

Edward Bond’s scrupulous translation first brought the play to English audiences when it premiered at the National Theatre in 1974; it is now considered to be the definitive English translation.

Three Sisters (Caldwell)

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Three sisters, Orla, Marianne and Erin, dream of escaping their tedious suburban lives for a fresh start in America. It is Erin’s eighteenth birthday and, as the sun shines and guests assemble, everything for a fleeting moment feels possible.

Relocated from a Russian provincial town in 1900 to East Belfast in the 1990s, Lucy Caldwell’s version of Chekhov’s Three Sisters opened at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast in October 2016.

Trelawny of the ‘Wells’

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Famous actress Rose Trelawney is willing to give up anything for her sweetheart, Arthur – even her successful theatre career. Out of the spotlight, however, Rose discovers that the real world is not to her taste. Desperate to escape the tedium of her life, she abandons her husband and returns to the stage, only to discover that her stint in reality has left her unable to perform in popular melodramas.

Arthur Wing Pinero’s comedy premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in 1898; it shows the transition from the melodrama popular in the mid-nineteenth century to the more realistic drawing room comedies of a later period. It was revived in London by the Donmar Warehouse in 2013.

The Turn of the Screw  

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

A new adaptation of Henry James’s classic novella adapted for the stage by Rebecca Lenkiewicz. This adaptation was first staged at the Almeida Theatre, London, in January 2013.  

audio Uncle Vanya

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

In this classic of Chekhov’s canon, an overbearing professor pays a visit to his country estate, where Sonya and Vanya, his daughter and former brother-in-law, have slaved to maintain his wealth. But Vanya is enchanted by the professor’s new wife, while Sonya has fallen for the town’s melancholy doctor.

Includes a conversation with Rosamund Bartlett, author of “Chekhov: Scenes from a Life.” An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance starring: Josh Radnor as Astrov Stacy Keach as Vanya Holley Fain as Yelena Anna Mathias as Marina Jennifer Bassey as Mariya JD Cullum as Telegin Martin Jarvis as Professor Serebryakov Devon Sorvari as Sonya Directed by Rosalind Ayres. Recorded by L.A. Theatre Works before a live audience.

Featuring: Jennifer Bassey, JD Cullum, Holley Fain, Martin Jarvis, Stacy Keach, Anna Mathias, Josh Radnor, Devon Sorvari

Uncle Vanya (Trans. Frayn)

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Anton Chekhov’s painful drama of purposeless lives was rewritten from an earlier unsuccessful play called The Wood Demon (1889). Uncle Vanya was first seen in Stanislavsky’s production at the Moscow Art Theatre in 1899.

Professor Serebryakov and his lovely but lethargic wife Yelena retire to his country estate. This has been managed for many years by Vanya, a futile character eaten up with a sense of his own failure. Also in the household is the professor’s daughter Sonya, who nurses a hopeless love for the local doctor, Astrov. When Serebryakov suggests selling the estate, Vanya goes berserk and tries to shoot him. Characteristically, despite firing at point-blank range, he misses. The professor and his wife leave, and Vanya sinks back into his life of hopeless routine.

In the words of the critic Desmond McCarthy, the play ends with ‘that dreariest of all sensations: beginning life again on the flat when, a few hours before, it has run shrieking up the scale of pain till it seemed the very skies might split’.

The first British production of Uncle Vanya was that mounted by the Stage Society at the Aldwych Theatre in 1914. Laurence Olivier played the complex role of Astrov at the Old Vic in 1944 and again for the famous 1963 production at the Chichester Festival, which had Michael Redgrave in the title role and Joan Plowright as Sonya.

This edition of the play was translated by Michael Frayn and features a chronology and introduction by the translator.

Uncle Vanya (Trans. Hampton) 

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

‘It’s often said that the best of the Chekhov plays is the one you’ve seen most recently. Uncle Vanya doesn’t have a suicide, like The Seagull, or an adulterous couple and a dual more or less indistinguishable from murder, like Three Sisters; nor does it seem to announce the end of an era, like The Cherry Orchard: all it has is a series of ludicrously bungled attempts at murder and suicide and adultery. Perhaps these failures are what makes it feel the saddest and most truthful of these great tragi-comedies, in which, possibly unique to all drama, not a single word seems redundant or out of place.’

Christopher Hampton’s version of Anton Chekov’s Uncle Vanya opened at the Vaudeville Theatre, London, in October 2012.

Vera, or The Nihilists

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Vera, or the Nihilists is an early play by Oscar Wilde. Written in 1880, some twelve years before his first major theatrical success with Lady Windermere's Fan, it is a tragic melodrama which takes as its heroine a fictionalized version of Vera Zasulich, a Russian revolutionary in the pre-Bolshevik era; a 'Nihilist' as Dostoyevsky and Turgenev would have called her.

In Wilde's play, Zasulich is exhorted by her imprisoned brother to join the Nihilist movement in Moscow. There she rises up the ranks to become one of the movement's top assassins. She falls in love with a fellow revolutioanry, the brilliant Alexis, who in time will reveal a secret identity so unexpected that will test to the last Vera's love and commitment to her ideals.

Vera, or the Nihilists was originally programmed to premiere in Britain, to be produced by actor-manager, Dion Boucicault. Instead, political tensions were such in Britain at the time that Wilde decided to defer production. Instead, it premiered in New York in 1883, moving on to Detroit for a modest run.

audio War of the Worlds

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

Join actors from Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation as they recreate this classic radio thriller. The breathless pace and convincing details make it clear why the 1938 broadcast of an "eyewitness report" of an invasion from Mars caused a nationwide panic. Originally directed by Orson Welles and performed by his Mercury Theatre of the Air, War of the Worlds is an adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel of the same name.

War of the Worlds is truly the mother of all space invasions, offering a rare combination of chills, thrills and great literature.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring John de Lancie, Meagan Fay, Jerry Hardin, Gates McFadden, Leonard Nimoy, Daryl Schultz, Armin Shimerman, Brent Spiner, Tom Virtue and Wil Wheaton.

Includes a conversation with Leonard Nimoy.

War of the Worlds is part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity Series featuring science-themed plays. Major funding for the Relativity Series is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to enhance public understanding of science and technology in the modern world.

Featuring: John de Lancie, Meagan Fay, Jerry Hardin, Gates McFadden, Leonard Nimoy, Daryl Schultz, Armin Shimerman, Brent Spiner, Tom Virtue, Wil Wheaton

The Wild Duck (trans. Eldridge)

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Enthralling and unsettling, The Wild Duck is a play of keen psychology and absolute truth.

Gregers Werle, the son of a wealthy businessman, is an uncompromising idealist, and invites himself into the house of Hjalmar Ekdal, his childhood friend. His intention is to free the Ekdal family from the mesh of lies on which their contented lives are based: Gregers can see delusion, fantasy, and deep-seated deception surrounding Hjalmar, his father, his wife Gina, and his daughter Hedvig. But Gregers drowns the family even as he is trying to raise them up, his well-meaning investigations shredding the lies they have told themselves in order to live. The Wild Duck’s title is taken from the wounded bird which is nursed and kept in the attic by Hedvig, an acute symbol of resistance to reality which is the crux of this rich and piercing play.

The Wild Duck was published in 1884 and premiered in 1885 at Bergen in Norway. This version by David Eldridge opened in 2005 at the Donmar Warehouse, London.

A Woman of No Importance

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

A Woman of No Importance fuses comedy of manners with high melodrama, a serious protest against Victorian gender inequality ornately framed with perfect witticisms.

At Lady Hunstanton’s country house party, the quips are dazzling and the company is impeccably sophisticated – but beneath the laconic wit of society’s elite is brewing a turbulent drama of social double standards and sexual hypocrisy.

Gerald Arbuthnot is a young gentleman on the make, with an American heiress and the post of secretary to the brilliant but dissolute Lord Illingworth within his reach. But it is discovered that Lord Illingworth is Gerald's father, who seduced and abandoned his mother twenty years earlier. Horrified to find her son singing the praises of her seducer, Mrs Arbuthnot refuses to allow Gerald to continue in his service, and Gerald must choose between his wronged mother and a glittering career.

Wilde’s society comedy was first staged at the Haymarket theatre in London in 1893.

audio A Woman of No Importance

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

Devilishly attractive Lord Illingworth is notorious for his skill as a seducer. But he is still invited to all the “best” houses while his female conquests must hide their shame in seclusion. In this devastating comedy, Wilde uses his celebrated wit to expose English society’s narrow view of everything from sexual mores to Americans.

Includes an interview with Oscar Wilde's only grandchild Merlin Holland, who is also a noted biographer and editor of Wilde's works. An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring: Martin Jarvis as Lord Illingworth Peter Dennis as Sir John Pontefract Jim Norton as Mr. Kelvil, M.P. Robert Machray as The Ven. Archdeacon Daubeny, D.D. Paul Gutrecht as Gerald Arbuthnot Miriam Margolyes as Lady Hunstanton Jane Carr as Lady Caroline Pontefract Judy Geeson as Lady Stutfield Cherie Lunghi as Mrs. Allonby and Alice Samantha Mathis as Miss Hester Worsley Rosalind Ayres as Mrs. Arbuthnot. Adapted by Martin Jarvis. Directed by Michael Hackett. Recorded before a live audience.

Featuring: Rosalind Ayres, Jane Carr, Peter Dennis, Judy Geeson, Paul Gutrecht, Martin Jarvis, Cherie Lunghi, Robert Machray, Miriam Margolyes, Samantha Mathis, Jim Norton

audio You Never Can Tell

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

You Never Can Tell was originally born out of a bet that Shaw couldn’t write a “seaside comedy” (a popular theatrical genre at that time). The result is perhaps the most surprising of Shaw’s plays, complete with marital mayhem, tangled romance, and even doubtful dentistry. Despite the play’s lighthearted tone, it’s really another of Shaw’s brilliantly observed social treatises, this time in the guise of a light comedy.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast recording featuring: James Callis, Siobhan Hewlett, Nicholas Hormann, Martin Jarvis, Christopher Neame, Moira Quirk, Susan Sullivan, Simon Templeman and Matthew Wolf.

Directed by Rosalind Ayres and recorded before a live audience.

Featuring: James Callis, Siobhan Hewlett, Nicholas Hormann, Martin Jarvis, Christopher Neame, Moira Quirk, Susan Sullivan, Simon Templeman and Matthew Wolf