Major Barbara

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Major Barbara [1] is a 1905 play in three acts by George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) [2]. Set in the early 1900's the story involves an idealistic young woman, Barbara Undershaft, who is engaged in helping the poor as an official (a Major) in the Salvation Army in London.

It was first produced at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 1905 and first published in 1907.

The original text

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1940: Produced by Leontine Sagan at the Standard Theatre in Johannesburg with Gwen ffrangçon-Davies in the title role, Cecil Williams as the armaments maker, Guy Routh as Andrew Undershaft, Siegfried Mynhardt, Henry Gilbert and Bruce Meredith-Smith. This production opened at the Opera House, Pretoria, on 21 October.

1947: Presented by the Cape Reps in the Little Theatre in December, produced by George Vollaire. The cast included Jack Stubbs (Undershaft), Jean de Beer (Lady Brit), Dorothea Gibson (Barbara), Geoffrey Barry (Dolly), Roy Keech (Cholly), Hal Stone (Billy Walker) and Ted Ogden (Snobby Price). Set designed by Cecil Pym.

1963: Roy Sergeant directed a production by the University of Cape Town's University Dramatic Society at the Little Theatre in May.

1975: Staged by PACT, directed by Frank Shelley, with Louis Ife (Undershaft), Norman Coombes (Peter Shirley), Richard Haines (Bill Walker), Diane Wilson (Lady Britomart), Nigel Daly (Stephen), Leonie Hofmeyr (Sarah), Michelle Maxwell (Barbara), Michael Richard (Charles Lomax), Robin Malan (Adolphus Cusins), Bernard Nathanson (Morrison & Bilton), Denis Bettesworth (Snobby Price), Valerie Dunlop (Rummy Mitchens), Dorothy-Ann Gould (Jenny Hill) and Margaret Heale (Mrs Baines). Decor by Johan Engels (credited as "Johann Engels") and costumes by Tom Owen.


Wikipedia [3].

Rand Daily Mail, 11 October 1940.

Trek, 12(1):26.

Inskip, 1972. p.149.

PACT theatre programme, 1975.

Petru & Carel Trichardt theatre programme collection.

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