Shaw once said that ""the utter grotesque truth"" about the production of Pygmalion should be told and what a pleasure that...

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THE TRUTH ABOUT 'PYGMALION'

Shaw once said that ""the utter grotesque truth"" about the production of Pygmalion should be told and what a pleasure that Mr. Huggett has chosen to do so since the collaboration of three entertainingly exasperating characters -- Shaw and Mrs. Patrick Campbell, that fairest of ladies, and Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree -- provoked one dissonant interchange after another. Shaw wrote the play for Mrs. Campbell in a moment of late Indian summer infatuation; although he was always her friend to the end of her extravagantly spent old age, he refused to permit her to publish any of their letters -- ""I have not the slightest intention of playing the horse to your Lady Godiva!"" The play itself up to its parlous but triumphant opening (Mrs. Campbell married during the last week of rehearsals -- Mr. Cornwallis-West, she declared, was ""6 feet four and everything in proportion"") is the perfect vehicle for all this histrionic nonsense and Shaw never appeared to greater advantage: to the vague, affable actor-manager Tree, ""must you be so damned Tree-acly"" or on Ibsen: ""He's so boring, even the grave yawns for him."" A happy reprise and in the fallout there's a great deal of legendary stardust.

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 1970

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1970