Great Text Reading - Come read a play with us!

On the last Monday of every month people meet in Q's drawing room to read a play they may have heard of but not necessarily have read. Writer's come to see how the greats wrote, actors come to play multiple parts and theatre lovers come because it keeps them in touch with the art form. It is open all and everyone takes turns in playing characters from the play. Discussions ensue after over tea and biscuits.

In the month of May, we continued with the George Bernard Shaw theme and read 'Mrs. Warren's Profession' - about a middile aged woman whose Cambridge-educated daughter, Vivie, is horrified to discover that her mother's fortume was made managing high-class brothels.

Reactions to the play were strong. The humour in the text that caught many of us chuckling out loud was always tinged with satire. Many remarked at the powerful roles the two women characters had, and also how the men were the objects of ridicule. What was even more surprising was no where was the word "brother" or "prostitute" or "whore" or even any substitute word ever used. Yet through the clever crafting of the dialogue none of the readers were left in doubt as to what exactly Mrs. Warren's profession was.

The play was a fun contrast to Candida of April. And has primed us perfectly to end the "Shaw season".

In June, we round it up by reading 'Man and Superman' - a romantic comedy which 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 from her, only to find out that his attraction to Ann is too overwhelming to escape.

Written in 1903 as a four act drama, responding to those who had questioned Shaw as to why he had never written a play based on the Don Juan theme. The play opened at The Royal Court Theatre in London on 23 May 1905 without the performance of the 3rd Act. A part of the act, Don Juan in Hell (Act 3, Scene 2), was performed when the drama was staged on June 4, 1907 at the Royal Court. The play was not produced in its entirety until 1915 by the Travelling Repertory Company at the Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh.

Although the play can be performed as a light comedy of manners Shaw intended the drama to be something much deeper, as suggested by the title. This title comes from Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophical ideas about the "√úbermensch" ("Superman"). The plot centers on John Tanner, author of "The Revolutionist's Handbook and Pocket Companion," which is published with the play as a 58-page appendix. Tanner is a confirmed bachelor despite the pursuits of Ann Whitefield and her persistent efforts to make him marry her. Ann is referred to as "the Life Force" and represents Shaw's view that in every culture, it is the women who force the men to marry them rather than the men who take the initiative.

So come on the 27th of June at 7:30pm at 18 Anukool, Sq. Ldr. Harminder Singh Marg, 7 Bungalows. Next to Daljit Gym. All are welcome. If you need directions call Varrun on 26392688 or 9930666332.