Shaw pp 296-297 | Cite as

A Crisis

  • Lawrence Langner
Part of the Interviews and Recollections Series book series (IR)


From Lawrence Langner, GBS and the Lunatic (London: Hutchinson, 1964) pp. 29–30. Langner’s association with Shaw began in 1920 when the New York Theatre Guild obtained the rights to stage the world première of Heartbreak House in a season beginning 19 November 1920. At the end of the month Langner visited Shaw in England seeking to obtain a contract for the Theatre Guild to produce all of his plays in the States, and bringing with him photographs of the production of Heartbreak House. The stage directions of Heartbreak House call for a room ‘built so as to resemble the after part of an old-fashioned high-pooped ship with a stern gallery’, and specify that Hesione Hushabye has ‘magnificent black hair’. The contrasting hair colour of two of the leading female characters, Hesione and Ellie Dunn, is a significant motif in the play. Lee Simonson (1888–1967), designer and artist, was one of the founding directors of the Guild, and designed sets for Heartbreak House, Back to Methuselah, The Apple Cart and The Simpleton of the Unexpected Isles. Effie Shannon (1867–1954), distinguished American actress, embarked on her long stage career before she had reached the age of seven. Amongst her pre-1921 roles was that of Blanche in a New York production of Shaw’s Widowers’ Houses in 1907.

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1990

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  • Lawrence Langner

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