Old Play in Manhattan, Dec. 30, 1946

Androcles and the Lion (by Bernard Shaw; produced by the American Repertory Theatre) gets about the lightest treatment that Shaw ever gave to a serious subject. Thirty-three years ago he pilfered the fable of Androcles—who by being kind to a lion in the forest was spared when they met in the arena—to embroider it with comment on religion and early Christian martyrs. He wound up reducing the fable to a kind of farce.

For Shaw, eying both his fanatical Christians and his playboy Romans, the bread is buttered on both sides. Yet for all Shaw's playfulness, the Christians are allowed their serious...

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