Monday, May 23, 2016

Heard: "Candida" by George Bernard Shaw

Heard: Candida by George Bernard Shaw, 2006 for audio date, not sure on production date, Overdrive download.

Recording of the play by L.A. Theatre Works. Overdrive has several recordings of their productions. I was hunting around for audiobooks and figured I'd give this a try. I know nothing of Shaw but a former library board member published a biography of Shaw in 1980, George Bernard Shaw and the Actresses.

Anyhoo. James is a well known pastor in England and very in demand as a speaker on social issues. His wife, Candida, is returning after being away for a month. Also returning is a friend of of James and Candida, Eugene. Candida is off stage most of the time as goofy, lovelorn and inexperienced Eugene proclaims his life for Candida to James. Eugene is a bit of a dope and despises James as know-it-all who dos not truly understand and appreciate Candida. 

James, in turn, finds himself questioning whether he may really be a prig and if Candida will leave him for the younger Eugene. Meanwhile, Candida's father wants to win some government contracts, James's protege is silly, and James's women admirers lust for him. James and Eugene decide they will let Candida decide who to stay with.

Candida chooses James after calling them both numbskulls and telling Eugene he's acting like a child.

The play description on Overdrive says, "Shaw’s warm and witty play challenged conventional wisdom about relationships between the sexes. A beautiful wife must choose between the two men who love her."  That's bullshit. The point of the play is that the two men are fighting over Candida as if she were property to be divided. Both men considered, and actually were, socially advanced when it comes to women's issues. But, both men were still silly. Eugene thinking he knew what Candida wanted. James thinking she could so easily be wooed away.

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