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Man and Superman by George Bernard Shaw
Directed by Peter Hall
Produced by Catherine Bailey
Music by Mark Thomas
BBC Radio 3 - 20.10.1996
Length 04:12:30
A Comedy and A Philosophy (1901-03)
Peter Hall's production of the full play (including the Don Juan in Hell scene)


Plot[]

Subtitled ‘‘A Comedy and a Philosophy,’’ George Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman is a comedy of ideas: its characters discuss ideas such as capitalism, social reform, male and female roles in courtship, and other existential topics in long speeches that resemble arias in an opera. The play’s verbosity makes it unwieldy to produce full scale in the theatre, and the scene in Hell, containing the bulk of the play’s philosophical musings, is often dropped, but it is included in this radio production.
Act I
Respectable Roebuck Ramsden and brash John Tanner are shocked to discover they must share jointly the guardianship of Ann Whitefield, whose father has just died.
Act II
The scene opens in the drive of a country estate, where a competent chauffeur, Enry Straker, attends to a broken-down touring car while Tanner looks on helplessly. The chauffeur and Tanner banter nearly as equals about driving fast, which scares Tanner and exhilarates his employee.
Act III
The “Don Juan in Hell” scene was not included in the first production but was separately staged at the Royal Court Theatre in 1907. The tradition of producing this scene separately has continued, but is included here.
Act IV
The scene shifts to a villa on a hillside that looks onto Alhambra, a Medieval Moslem castle.


Cast[]

Narration by Niall Buggy

  • Jack Tanner......................Ralph Fiennes
  • Ann Whitefield...................Juliet Stevenson
  • Mrs. Whitefield..................Judi Dench
  • Mendoza..........................John Wood
  • Roebuck Ramsden..................John Standing
  • Henry Straker....................Paul Merton
  • Octavius Robinson................Nicholas Le Provost
  • Violet Robinson..................Victoria Hamilton
  • Hector Malone....................Jack Davenport
  • Mr.Malone........................Collin Stinton
  • Miss Ramsden.....................Selina Cadell
  • Also taking part:
  • Peter Gordon
  • Peter Needham
  • Eric Raymond
  • Loveday Smith
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