Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw

HK English Speaking Union
  • Tue 18-12-2018 7:15 PM - 2 h

Colette Artbar

Refreshments are available at the Fringe Club.


ESU and Fringe Club  December Play-Reading:

Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw


This month's play is the comedy Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw ( 1894) and Shaw's first commercial success. It is a humorous play that shows the futility of war and deals with the 

hypocrisies of human nature. George Orwell described the play as "probably the wittiest play Shaw ever wrote, the most flawless technically, and in spite of being a very light comedy, the most telling, because its moral that war is not a wonderful romantic adventure, still needs to be told"


The play takes place during the 1885 Serbo-Bulgarian War. It's heroine Raina Petkoff, is a young Bulgarian woman engaged to Sergius Saranoff, one of the heroes of that war, whom she idolizes. One night after a battle, a Swiss mercenary soldier in the Serbian army Captain Bluntschli, climbs in through her bedroom balcony window. Raina hides him so that he won't be killed. However Bluntschli's pragmatic and cynical attitude towards war and soldiering, shocks the idealistic Raina. Nevertheless, she manages to sneak the Captain out of her house, disguised in one of her father's old coats. Later after the war has ended, Raina begins to find her fiancé Sergius both foolhardy and tiresome, while Sergius also finds Raina's romantic ideals tiresome. Meanwhile, Captain Bluntschli unexpectedly returns after the war, so that he can give back to Raina, the old coat.... whereupon the plot thickens.


George Bernard Shaw (1856 to 1950) has been described as second only to Shakespeare among British dramatists ,having written more than 60 plays, including such major works as Man and Superman, Pygmalion and Saint Joan. In 1925 he was awarded the Nobel prize for literature, which recognised his contribution through drama (and political activism ) of the promotion of  his political, social and religious ideas.


Do join us on Tuesday December 18th at 7:15 at the Fringe Club for an entertaining evening of Play-reading. All are welcome!


Facilitators: Julian Quail & Mike Ingham


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