George Bernard Shaw play to be performed at Palladian Church

PUBLISHED: 18:15 12 July 2019 | UPDATED: 10:10 19 July 2019

George Bernard Shaw play Arms and The Man will be performed in the Palladian Church in Ayot St Lawrence. Picture: Shaw 2020.

George Bernard Shaw play Arms and The Man will be performed in the Palladian Church in Ayot St Lawrence. Picture: Shaw 2020.

Shaw2020

A classic play by George Bernard Shaw will be performed just along the road from the great playwright's home in Ayot St Lawrence.

George Bernard Shaw play Arms and The Man will be performed in the Palladian Church in Ayot St LawrenceGeorge Bernard Shaw play Arms and The Man will be performed in the Palladian Church in Ayot St Lawrence

Michael Friend Productions in association with SHAW2020 and Split/Shift Theatre presents Arms and the Man at the beautiful Palladian Church in the village.

Arms and the Man can be seen in Ayot St Lawrence on Saturday, July 20 and Sunday, July 21, with performances starting at 6.30pm both nights.

One of Shaw's wittiest plays, it is an anti-romantic view of love and war in the Balkans.

Who will win the girl? The story book hero or the 'chocolate cream' soldier?

Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw will be performed at the Palladian Church in Ayot St LawrenceArms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw will be performed at the Palladian Church in Ayot St Lawrence

Arms and the Man combines light comedy with thought-provoking ideas - as you would expect from GBS.

Michael Friend has specialised in works by Shaw for many years, and has regularly staged performances for The National Trust at Shaw's Corner - the Irish playwright and political activist's home for many years in Hertfordshire.

The National Trust has decided to rest the annual professional productions at Shaw's Corner for 2019, although volunteers are entertaining visitors with outdoor readings from Pygmalion, to enhance the special exhibition about the play.

Enter SHAW2020, a theatre company formed in 2018 comprised of actor-members from The Shaw Society.

Shaw's Corner at Ayot St Lawrence. Picture: Alan DaviesShaw's Corner at Ayot St Lawrence. Picture: Alan Davies

SHAW2020 is dedicated to promoting, adapting and exploring the works of Shaw and bringing them to wider and more diverse audiences.

Many of its actors have previously performed at Shaw's Corner.

Its artistic director, Jonas Cemm, appeared in 2018 Welwyn Garden City panto Aladdin, and he will also direct this year's Christmas production of Snow White.

SHAW2020 has joined forces with Michael Friend Productions and Split/Shift Theatre to keep Shavian performance in Ayot St Lawrence.

Shaw's Corner at Ayot St Lawrence. Picture: Alan DaviesShaw's Corner at Ayot St Lawrence. Picture: Alan Davies

This summer's play will be held in the surroundings of the Grade I-listed, Greek-style Palladian Church, where Shaw used to occasionally play the organ.

The venue is just a few minutes' walk from Shaw's Corner, the country home of the playwright for 44 years.

Bernard Shaw moved to Shaw's Corner in 1906 and died there, aged 94, in 1950.

He wrote more than 60 plays during his lifetime, including Man and Superman, Pygmalion and Saint Joan.

George Bernard Shaw's home Shaw's Corner at Ayot St Lawrence. Picture: Alan DaviesGeorge Bernard Shaw's home Shaw's Corner at Ayot St Lawrence. Picture: Alan Davies

Shaw became the leading dramatist of his generation, and in 1925 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

A saga of love, war and the battle of the sexes, Arms and the Man was his first public success in 1894.

One of Shaw's most humorous plays, tickets cost £20, plus booking fee, and they are available from www.eventbrite.co.uk and via www.mfp.org.uk

Tickets are limited to 100 on each night.

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