Sunday, May 19, 2024

The Victorian Shaw

The latest issue of SHAW has been guest edited by Mary Christian on Bernard Shaw as a Victorian, and it includes some provocative pieces, including an article of my own on The Devil's Disciple.

In her introduction to the issue, Christian notes that critics have considered Shaw as both a product of Victorianism and a rebel against it. I suspect that both are correct. The issue has articles by some of my favorite Shaw critics, including Ellen Dolgin, Jean Reynolds, and Christopher Wixson.

My own article "Subverting the Melodramatic in The Devil's Disciple" looks at the very first theatre review Shaw wrote as a critic for the Saturday Review, and how his criticisms of Sydney Grundy's play Slaves of the Ring paved the way for his own engagements with melodrama. I argue that The Devil's Disciple comically subverts not just Victorian melodrama, but Victorian conventions of marriage itself.

This fall, Gingold Theatrical Group plans to revive The Devil's Disciple Off-Broadway on Theatre Row from October 15th to November 23rd. Being as it's probably my favorite Shaw play, I am looking forward to it immensely. If GTG's production of Arms and the Man last year is any indication, it should be quite a show.

Next month, I'll be attending the International Shaw Society's conference in Dublin on Bernard Shaw's Ireland. It's scheduled to include talks by Christian and Dolgin, as well as such noted Shaw scholars as Nelson O'Ceallaigh Ritschel, Dorothy Hadfield, and Vishnu Patil. It should be great!