July 20, 2009
When Shaw completed Mrs. Warren’s Profession in 1893, it was censored for eight years. When it was finally produced on the London stage in 1902, the public was outraged by its controversial content. Reviewers overwhelmingly condemned the play as immoral, citing its focus on prostitution and incest. Today, however, the play is applauded for its astute view of the corruption at the heart of Victorian society. The play centers on Mrs. Wareen, who, forced by the economic realities of nineteenth century London, becomes a prostitute and later runs several unsuccessful brothels. Through her characterization, Shaw exposes the corruption and hypocrisy of the “genteel” class. He also explores the personal consequences of such a profession as Mrs. Warren struggles to gain the respect and love of her daughter after she discovers the truth about her mother. Modern audiences admire the play’s artistry as welwl as its subject since, as Shaw notes in his “Apology,” “Mrs. Warren’s defence of herself and indictment of society is the thing that most needs saying.”
Written by George Bernard Shaw during 1893 and 1894.
Praed – Mr. Michael Cristofer
Vivie – Ms. Xanthe Elbrick
Mrs. Warren – Ms. Tyne Daly
Sir George Crofts – Mr. Brian Murray
Rev. Samuel Gardner – Mr. George S. Irving
Frank – Mr. Sean Dugan
Narrator – Mr. Howard Kissel
Evening hosted by Mr. Jeremy McCarter of NEWSWEEK
Produced and directed by Mr. David Staller
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