Arms and the Man for St Albans’ Company of Ten
- Credit: Archant
Idealistic notions about love and war come under attack in the Company of Ten’s forthcoming production of Bernard Shaw’s comedy, Arms and the Man.
The play, which opens at the Abbey Theatre Studio next week, was one of Shaw’s first commercial successes despite its controversial subject matter.
Set in 1885 during the Serbo-Bulgarian War, the story centres on a well-to-do Bulgarian girl who harbours a soldier from the Serbian army after he climbs through her bedroom window to evade capture. By exploring the opposing views of these and other characters, the play pokes fun at both the glorification of war and the idealisation of romantic love.
Director Angela Stone said: “Like all Shaw’s plays, Arms and the Man is beautifully constructed with his trademark mix of humour, perception and wisdom. It’s also meticulously researched: Shaw read memoirs of the American Civil War and gained many details about Bulgaria from the Russian Admiral of the Bulgarian fleet.”
She pointed out that despite its serious subject matter, the play was also very funny. “I hope we remain true to Shaw’s aim, which is to amuse and entertain, while also showing that the glorification of war is, as one of the characters says, ‘a hollow sham’.”
Performances take place at 8pm from Thursday, June 12, to Saturday, June 14, at 2.30pm on Sunday, June 15, and again at 8pm from Wednesday, June 18, to Saturday, June 21.
To book tickets go to www.abbeytheatre.org.uk or call the box office on 01727 857861.