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Sesquicentennial Shaw Conference, Brown University, 8-11 June 2006


L.W. Conolly



This paper reviews Shaw’s early experiences with BBC television, beginning with the live broadcast of How He Lied to Her Husband–the first Shaw play to be televised–on 8 July 1937, an occasion that also included a personal appearance–his first–by Shaw on television.  While Shaw never possessed a television receiver, and claimed never to have seen a television broadcast of one of his plays, he worked closely with the BBC in the years leading up to the outbreak of World War II. This paper discusses productions of those broadcasts, which included Androcles and the Lion, The Dark Lady of the Sonnets, Candida, Geneva (Act 3), Passion, Poison, and Petrifaction, and The Man of Destiny. BBC television broadcasts were suspended on 1 September 1939 until 7 June 1946. The first play televised by the BBC after the war was a second production of The Dark Lady of the Sonnets.