Thursday, October 12, 2006

Public service announcement

Oh dear, I don't know why I'm in such a scathing mood this morning, but reading Charles Isherwood's glowing review in today's Times of the Roundabout's revival of Shaw's play Heartbreak House made me remember I'd meant to issue a warning to potential theater-goers: not a good play, not a good production. I saw it over the weekend and found it regrettably bad (and they're doing that awful fake-English-accent thing where you feel that the poor actors are concentrating so hard on the accents that they are hardly paying any attention to the meaning of what they're saying). Hard to imagine why anyone thought this one worth reviving: seriously, the main reason to go and see this is if you're a young playwright daunted by the thought of the genius of Shaw & will find it psychologically enabling to see how weak some of his plays were. The first half is amusing but vaguely pointless, the second half quite absurdly self-serious and awful. And I love Shaw, so it was a great disappointment.


  1. I loved this play when I was young, and saw it in performance a couple of times.
    I always wanted to call a girl "Ellie" if I ever had one, but circumstances conspired against me!
    Shaw is a bit of an old wordy moraliser, but I have to say that I enjoy this play more than some of his.

  2. Well, perhaps it was the production rather than the play!

    Ellie is a nice name, though...

    What are your unfavorite Shaws, then? I have a desire to teach a Shaw & Stoppard undergrad seminar, two great twentieth-century playwrights of ideas...