According to press reports, Ralph Fiennes will return to the National Theatre to star as John Tanner in George Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman early in 2015. The play will be directed by Simon Godwin, who has previously worked at both the National Theatre and the Royal Court.
There is also the possibility of Man and Superman being shown in cinemas as part of the NT Live series. The recent showing of War Horse was viewed by an audience of 5.15 million worldwide.
Man and Superman is a four-act drama written by George Bernard Shaw in 1903, and was written in response to calls for Shaw to write a play based on the Don Juan theme. Man and Superman opened at The Royal Court Theatre in London on 23rd May 1905, but with no 3rd Act. The play was not performed in its entirety until 1915, when it played at the Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh.
Possibly George Bernard Shaw’s most profound play, Man and Superman blends social satire with philosophy. The comedy continues to make readers and audiences laugh and think, and at times simultaneously.
Man and Superman tells the story of two rivals: John Tanner (a wealthy, politically-minded intellectual who values his freedom) and Ann Whitefield (a charming, scheming hypocritical young woman who wants Tanner as a husband). Once Tanner realizes that Miss Whitefield is hunting for a spouse (and that he is the only target), he attempts to flee, only to find out that his attraction to Ann is too overwhelming to escape.
Man and Superman – Act One:
Ann Whitefield’s father has passed away. Mr. Whitefield’s will indicate that his daughter’s guardians shall be two gentlemen:
Roebuck Ramsden: The steadfast (and rather old-fashioned) friend of the family.
John Tanner: A controversial author and “Member of the Idle Rich Class”
Friday 14th March 2014