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Shaw’s Women: Village Wooing and How He Lied to Her Husband

Shaw's WomenJane Nightwork Productions presents: Shaw’s Women – a double bill of rarely performed short works by George Bernard Shaw explore two of his lesser known but more provocative female characters.

Village Wooing and How He Lied to Her Husband at Tristan Bates Theatre, Tuesday 6th to Saturday 31st January 2015

Exploring the nature of marriage from two diverse perspectives, Jane Nightwork Productions shed light on the things that bring two people together and the obstacles that keep them apart. A working class woman transforms an upper-class and educated man into a shopkeeper in Village Wooing, and How He Lied To Her Husband sees a wife face up to her husband after he finds the poetry her lover has written to her. The two plays provide a surprising insight into Shaw’s evolving views on the position of women and marriage, presenting a subtler, more everyday heroine in contrast to the strident female characters that he is better known for.

The bill opens with Shaw’s 1933 work Village Wooing, a reverse Pygmalion which sees an upper class, educated travel writer discovering the realities of the working world when he meets a chatty phone operator on a mission to marry him. One of Shaw’s more feminist texts, the story follows the relationship from travel writer’s pen to shopkeeper’s apron after their initial meeting on a cruise ship and an accidental meeting in a village shop.

How He Lied To Her Husband, second on the bill, is a one-act comedy written by Shaw as a response to the age-old husband, wife and lover theatrical framework. Set in the drawing room of a London flat, the play tells the story of a wife who’s lost the poetry written for her by her lover, soon to be discovered by her husband Teddy.

Director Robert Gillespie’s said, “We’re used to Shaw’s women doing astonishing things: Joan defeats an English army, Kitty Warren exposes the hypocrisy of a brothel-owning church, Eliza shows her male controllers that she has a brain, and is independent of them.   All epic, towering women.   What is lovely about the women we want to show you is that we meet them every day. So here are non-heroic women in familiar situations written up by a master word-spinner with an irresistible sense of humour!

Jane Nightwork Productions (JNP) is a small-scale theatre company that presents new works and rarely played lesser known works based around the core themes of relationships between men and women. The company’s previous work includes Making Dickie Happy at the Tristan Bates Theatre and Love, Question Mark at the New Diorama.

Robert Gillespie is a director, writer and actor, and the founder of Jane Nightwork Productions. As an actor he is best-known for his work in TV sitcom, with credits including Keep it in the Family, Dad’s Army, Rising Damp, Likely Lads and Porridge. As a writer, he has contributed to TV’s That Was The Week That Was with A Consumer’s Guide To Religion. His directing credits for Jane Nightwork Productions include Keeping Dickie Happy, Oedipus Retold and Love, Question Mark.

Irish playwright, socialist, essayist and novelist George Bernard Shaw wrote more than 60 plays, nearly all of which focus on social issues. He co-founded the London School of Economics in 1895, won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1925 and an Academy Award in 1938 for his contributions to literature and for his work on the film adaptation of his most famous play, Pygmalion.

Running Time: 110 mins approx. (inc. interval) | Suitable for Ages: 12+
@JaneNightwork | www.janenightwork.com

Company Information:
Directed by Robert Gillespie, Designed by Matilde Mangaroni, Lighting Design by Rob Mills
How He Lied To Her Husband
Teddy – Alan Francis, Henry – Josh Harper, Aurora  – Viss Elliot Safavi
Village Wooing
Z Madeleine Hutchins, A Mark Fleischmann

Listings Information
Tristan Bates Theatre, The Actors Centre, 1a Tower Street, London WC2H 9HP
6 – 31 January 2015, Tuesday – Saturday, 7.30pm, Sunday 3pm
£16 (£14 concs) | www.tristanbatestheatre.co.uk | 020 7240 6283

Thursday 27th November 2014


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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