Friday, October 27, 2006

Major Barbara, Orange Tree

Shaw is witty like a paddy and political like a kraut. Consequently, it's hard to understand why there hasn't been more of his work put on for his 150th anniversary. Notwithstanding the fact that he is one the most performed playwrights in the west end.

I had forgotten how wildean Major Barbarra is. And how Brechtian. Andrew Undershaft's insistence that poverty is the ultimate crime, and that society's first duty is to ensure that everyone is decently fed and housed, anticipates by a quarter century Brecht's great dictum in The Threepenny Opera: "Food comes first, then morals." Of course, Jesus anticipates this by 1900 years or so, and Marx by a good 50, but I think by and large we can attribute the origin of anti-poverty thinking to Shaw. You may argue that Brecht's "dictum" is not so much a dictum as a line from a play, spoken by a character and that it's meaning is radically different from the message espoused by Shaw's character, but frankly I'd be too busy wanking over a picture of myself reading a book (hardback, of social import) to hear.

The acting is good.

Even Shaw-haters would have to agree with my opinion, which is this one, that they have just read, and is mine.

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