The Man of Destiny

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The Man of Destiny is a one-act play by George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)[1].

The original text

Written in 1897, the play is set in Italy during the early career of Napoleon and tells of a woman who attempts to outwit the young general.

Though thee play was originally written for Ellen Terry and Richard Mansfield, it was first performed at the Grand theatre, Croydon on 1 July 1897 with Murray Carson and Florence West in the principal roles.

The text was published as a part of Shaw's collection Plays Pleasant (Brentano's 1905), a volume that also included Arms and the Man, Candida and You Never Can Tell.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1949: Presented by the UCT Speech and Drama Department at the Little Theatre, directed by Leonard Schach, August 1949, starring Robert Mohr. Decor by Cecil Pym.

1970: Presented by CAPAB's Theatre in the Round Company in 35 towns in the Northern Cape as far afield as Mafikeng and Port Nolloth in 1970, with Brigid Reynolds and Pietro Nolte directed by Arthur Hall.


Donald Inskip 1977. Stage by Stage: The Leonard Schach Story. Cape Town: Howard Timmins. p 118.

Research material held by NELM: [Collection: FLETCHER, Jill]: 2005. 75. 19. 50. (CAPAB 1970 production).

Tango programme notes, 1970.

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