From Elizabeth Sprigge, Sybil Thorndike Casson (London: Victor Gollancz, 1971) pp. 154–6, 159–60, 163–4, 165. Dame Sybil Thorndike (1882–1976), celebrated English actress, played Saint Joan in the first London production of the play at the New Theatre in March 1924. Her husband Sir Lewis Casson (1875–1969) codirected the play with Shaw and played the part of the chaplain, de Stogumber. Shaw read the play to a small group at Ayot St Lawrence in the winter of 1923. In addition to Dame Sybil and Sir Lewis, the group included Sir Bronson James Albery (1881–1971), then manager of the New Theatre, the Antarctic explorer Apsley Cherry-Garrard (1886–1959) and Charlotte Shaw. Asked what she thought of the part of Joan, in an interview given to the Evening Standard on 1 March 1924, Sybil Thorndike replied: T think so much of it that I do not care if I never have another part’. Dame Sybil here records her response to the reading at Ayot and her recollections of the production.
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