Theater: Distant Thunder


by George Bernard Shaw

"Behold my Lear," proclaimed Shaw, with his usual modesty, of this melancholy farce. Not for him the inevitable comparisons with Chekhov and Congreve. No, he would recast Lear as Captain Shotover, a wily old man of the sea, sensitive to every political current, each distant drumroll of thunder on the cloudless eve of the Great War. Surrounding the Captain are his two bewitching daughters, with their foolish suitors, and one young woman, Ellie Dunn, who is wise and innocent enough to read the Captain's prophetic mind. In Shaw's...

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