The Man Of Destiny – February 2014

Experience: 6/10

By George Bernard Shaw

Directed by Michael Friend

Michael Friend Productions

Venue: Mill Studio

Date: Friday 28th February 2014

This little-seen Shaw play was paired with another one-act piece by the same author, The Fascinating Foundling. They were both amusing, and while the Foundling was like a Gilbertian mini-farce, Man Of Destiny had a bit more to it, and we could certainly see the influence of Arms And The Man in the discussions between Napoleon and the Strange Lady. We were glad to have caught this performance, especially as we’re not likely to see these anywhere else.

The set consisted of a wide swathe of green carpet, suggestive of grass, a backdrop showing a large house with one wing coming forward on the left side, a doorway in the appropriate place on that side and a table with two chairs in the middle of the stage; the table was laid with some plates and a glass. There was a bench on the left with a bottle on it and another bench tucked away in the far right corner. I wasn’t sure if the space was indoors or outdoors – the program specifies the courtyard of an inn, which would account for the ambiguity.

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The Stepmother in York

Steve and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing The Stepmother by Githa Sowerby at the Orange Tree in March 2013. Having raved about the play and production, I expressed a desire that this piece would be revived more often; my wish has come true. The York Settlement Community Players (YSCP) are putting the play on in March, and although Steve and I won’t be able to make it up there for the run, I was delighted to receive an invitation from YSCP to support the production by publicising it in this blog, especially as it gave me a chance to interview some of the creative team via email (I’m a sucker for a peek behind the scenes). I sent in my questions, and the responses are below:

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