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C A L L   F O R   P A P E R S:

Deadline for papers & grants is past but

below is important information for anyone wishing or planning to attend this conference.







Shaw's Corner


The Ayot St Lawrence/

London, England

Shaw Conference

June 17-22, 2013

“Shaw at Home”



Co-Sponsored by

National Trust,

The Shaw Society,

and the

International Shaw Society


Description: Description: Description: Audience at Candida 2006 No 1reduced



This 5-day conference will take place mostly in Ayot St. Lawrence, a small village in the country just north of London, England where Bernard Shaw and his wife lived for 44 years at “Shaw’s Corner,” but registrants will be bused into London for a day during the week to see important Shavian sites there as well.  Since the conference starts on Monday morning, June 17, it’s recommended that you arrive in London no later than Sunday, June 16, and get settled in your accommodation near or in Ayot St. Lawrence, ready for pick-up by bus early on Monday morning if you’re staying outside Ayot.  The conference concludes on Saturday, June 22, and it’s up to you whether you leave earlier or later on that day.  Some may wish to go into Ayot for a guided walk around or to have a farewell lunch at the Brocket Arms, but the timing of your departure on Saturday is up to you.   Accommodations will be available mostly in the towns and villages in the urbanized area around Ayot St. Lawrence, the few in Ayot itself mostly being booked.  All the details about accommodations, registration, transportation, featured speakers, and the conference schedule will be provided here (scroll down or use the links above) and also at http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/shaws-corner (or at http://shawathome2013conference.yolasite.com if the other site is not working), and the actual registration page is at http://bit.ly/ShawatHomeRegistration .    In the meantime, if you have Google Earth, you might enjoy looking this area over and taking 3-D walks down the country lanes around “Shaw’s Corner.” Walking tours will also be scheduled during the conference.  Another way to familiarize yourself with “Shaw’s Corner” is to read the article at www.shawsociety.org/Shaw's-Corner-Theatre.htm.  



The topic will be left open, as long as Shaw and his career are a major part of your paper, but especially welcomed would be papers on Geneva and Buoyant Billions, the two Shaw plays scheduled for the conference, papers on the topic of “Shaw and War” that Geneva lends itself to, and on anything having to do with how the environment of Ayot St. Lawrence might have affected Shaw’s writing and other actions.  More generally, anything that discusses the place of “place” in Shaw’s life and writings would be appropriate.  For consideration by a committee, your submission in abstract form (300-500 words), which should include any Audio-Video needs you have, should be emailed as an attachment, along with a letter of introduction and a C.V. to "Michael O'Hara" mohara@bsu.edu.   But you could also mail it to ISS President Michael O’Hara at:


Dr. Michael M. O'Hara
Associate Dean, College of Fine Arts
The Sursa Distinguished Professor of Fine Arts
2000 W. University Avenue
College of Fine Arts, AC 200
Ball State University
Muncie, IN  47306



The International Shaw Society provides travel grants of up to $500 per applicant to assist emerging scholars in meeting travel costs.  For instructions on how to apply, see https://shawsociety.org/ISS-Travel-Grants.htm



Some details about the conference are yet to be worked out, but it’s known that this conference will conclude with a production of Shaw’s play Geneva on Friday night on the Shaw’s Corner back lawn following a picnic supper.  There will also be a staged reading of Shaw’s Buoyant Billions at some other time during the week.   Both plays will be by Michael Friend Productions (http://www.mfp.org.uk/) .   There will also be a visit while in London to the Questor’s Theatre in Ealing to see Mrs. Warren’s Profession.  The conference will definitely start on Monday morning, so it’s strongly recommended that you arrive at your hotel or B&B by the previous Sunday (June 16) at the latest, and remain until the following Saturday morning (June 22), if you wish to experience the entire conference.  The keynote address by Sir Michael Holroyd will take place on Monday, June 17.   Wednesday, June 19, will be devoted to a day in London.    A detailed conference schedule (subject to change) can be viewed at at Schedule.htm or Schedule.pdf, but you can see an outline of it linked at http://shawathome2013conference.yolasite.com . 



Sir Michael Holroyd, the author of the most comprehensive recent biography of Shaw, will deliver the keynote address: “A Shavian Tale of Two Cities. From Dublin to London," Polly Toynbee, a journalist for The Guardian, granddaughter of both Arnold Toynbee and Gilbert Murray, and provider of a Foreword for the latest edition of Shaw’s "The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism and Capitalism... ," one of the most important books Shaw wrote at Ayot, will speak on Shaw’s journalism, and Michael Billington, drama critic for The Guardian, will speak on Shaw in the theater.   After a concert of Shaw’s favorite music on Tuesday night, well-known Shaw scholar Stanley Weintraub will speak on Thursday on “The Autobiography of Corno di Bassetto" (Shaw’s joking nom de plume in some of his music criticism).     


        Michael Holroyd

Polly Toynbee

Michael Billington

Stanley Weintraub

Holroyd, Michael crCaroline Forbes



Photo by Caroline Forbes


Photo by John Thaxter





As Ayot St Lawrence is very small and evening entertainment is largely restricted to watching TV, visiting a pub, or reading a book, etc., the conference will enlist performers and special talks to help us enjoy the evenings.  


On Monday night, for instance, there will be a drinks reception (wine & canapés) with a talk from Toni Kanal Green (actress and VP of the Shaw Society) and Richard Digby Day (director of many Shaw plays and Artistic Director at many theatres, such as the Open Air Theatre in Regents Park), who will talk about their many years of providing plays at Shaw’s Corner and about “Shaw As Others Saw Him.”  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Digby_Day and Shaw’sCornerTheatre .


digbydayRichard Digby Day

ScannedImage  Toni Kanal Green


On Tuesday night, in honor of and as a memoriam to Isidor Saslav, whose idea this was, we will be favored by a recital of some of Shaw’s favorite music by violinist Lucy Waterhouse and her pianist mother Elisabeth Waterhouse, with the singing of a few pieces by mezzo-soprano Brigitte Bogar and readings from Shaw’s music criticism by Christopher Innes (York University).  



The Saslavs

Brigitte Bogar headshot

Brigitte Bogar


     Christopher Innes




Waterhouse Combo2

Isidor & Lucy Waterhouse

Lucy and Elisabeth Waterhouse

                      Lucy Waterhouse and Isidor Saslav



Wednesday night will conclude the day in London with the seeing of Mrs. Warren’s Profession at the Questor’s Theatre

in Ealing (West London).  See http://www.questors.org.uk/page.aspx?page=320 .



The Playhouse       

The Studio






Thursday evening will conclude with a celebratory dinner with music from Shaw’s period and talks from Phillip Riley about establishing a Shaw National Theatre and a talk from actress Sylvia Sims (see her biography at http://www.sylviasyms.co.uk/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sylvia_Syms) .


Sylvia Syms



And Friday evening will conclude the conference with a performance of the original Geneva by Michael Friend Productions

(after a concert reading in the afternoon of Buoyant Billions).



Gamboling youth in the last act of Michael Friend’s Back to Methuselah, 2006

Michael Friend

Michael Friend reading Shaw1






Registration before the conference is available on links from the “Shaw’s Corner” website at http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/shaws-corner/, but it’s easier to just click on this: http://bit.ly/ShawatHomeRegistration .   What’s there is for full registration for the entire week, and if you’re interested in just registering for Day Tickets, click on the following:






Please note that the price of registration is higher here than for other ISS conferences because this conference is two days longer than the usual and a lot more is included in the price.  Out-of-pocket expenses should be considerably less.  Full registration prices are £270 ($420) for registration for Non-ISS/Shaw Society/NT members, £240 ($375) for ISS/Shaw Society/NT members, and £180 ($280) for students with student ID, plus there is a 5% booking fee.    The conversions are based on current rates, where a pound equals approximately $1.55.


Registration at the Conference:  Although you have probably registered for the conference online before you’ve arrived at the conference, once you arrive you need to confirm that registration and pick up your conference packet.   For that, go to the Palladian Church upon arriving in Ayot St Lawrence at the beginning of the conference.



There are many hotels and B&Bs within a 10 or 15 minute drive to Ayot St. Lawrence, and a list (with ways to contact them) can be found at http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/servlet/file/store5/item1026787/version1/Accommodation20List_Shaw%20at%20Home%202013.pdf. If that’s not working, try https://shawsociety.org/Accommodation-List-Shaw-at-Home-2013.pdf or http://shawathome2013conference.yolasite.com/resources/recommendedaccommodation2.pdf   A larger Google map of this can be found at https://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?msid=201888739427635823715.0004ce99f06ac6f14c5b9&msa=0&ll=51.809464,-0.251999&spn=0.17682,0.308647 .   Busing will be provided to and from Ayot on a daily basis if you’re staying at one of the prescribed hotels or B&Bs.




Exchange rates go up and down daily (they’re currently at $1.55 to a pound), so there’s no telling what it will be on the day of your exchange, but as a general rule, to be safe, it’s recommended that you multiply pounds by $1.65 (U.S. or Canadian) to get a rough idea of what something in pounds will cost you, including exchange fees.   It’s strongly recommended that you have at least 100 pounds in your wallet before leaving the airport and perhaps more if you’re going to take a car or taxi to Ayot St Lawrence and vicinity.  Ask for the location of Cash Machines (ATMs) when you arrive at your accommodation or, if you’re at a hotel, ask if they do exchanges and what the charge would be.   Don’t expect generosity.



You will be on your own for transportation from and to the airport (or wherever you are) to and from Ayot St Lawrence, which is just north of St. Albans and northwest of Welwyn, or to the hotel or B&B of your choice in the urbanized area surrounding.  Once you’re settled into a hotel or B&B on the prescribed list, there will be arranged transportation for the rest of the visit, as needed.  At both Heathrow and Gatwick, London’s two major airports, you will find various means of transportation provided—trains, bus, car--and various ways to get it arranged.  You could just step into a taxi for the ride to your accommodation (but ask the cost before departing), but you can also pre-arrange for a car or bus.  At Heathrow, for example, you can email info@british-airport-transfers.co.uk for quotes (in pounds) on various rides to Ayot St. Lawrence (you have to give them the Ayot postal code AL6 9BX or to wherever your hotel or B&B is in the surrounding area.  It’s about 35 miles to Ayot from Heathrow and less than an hour’s drive).   Just check the websites for Heathrow and Gatwick for the most up-to-date ways to book transportation.    Heathrow is just west of London, and Gatwick is a good bit south of London.   Heathrow is much closer to Ayot St Lawrence, but there’s a beltway around London that those coming from Gatwick will find useful in circumventing London and heading north to the Ayot St Lawrence area.   Car service can be arranged from Heathrow at http://www.airport-cars-heathrow.co.uk and from Gatwick at http://www.airport-cars-gatwick.co.uk , among other possibilities. 



Other than “Shaw’s Corner” itself, which will be toured, two notable buildings in the village, where most of the conference will take place, are the Palladian Church and the Brocket Arms, both within easy walking distance of “Shaw’s Corner.”   There will also be some sort of temporary tent or marquee erected in the fields diagonally across from “Shaw’s Corner” where various activities will take place (some meals may be served and on-site registration may take place there when you pick up your conference packet).     


The Palladian Church, Ayot St Lawrence by RoantrumThe Palladian Church,

Ayot St Lawrence

The church was designed in a neo-classical style

 by Nicholas Revett (1720-1804)

with a Palladian style frontage with Doric columns.









The Brocket Arms

Exterior ViewBar



Registrants will be bused into London on Wednesday for a day of visiting Shavian sites, probably beginning with the London School of Economics, partially founded by the Shaws and where his photographic collection is archived, followed by a walk over Waterloo Bridge and by a bus tour of other Shavian sites that will be made up as we go.  Evening entertainment will include seeing Mrs. Warren’s Profession at the Questor’s Theatre in Ealing (West London) .  Too much to see, too little time!!  We’ll see what we can.  

Whatever, this will be the conference of a lifetime.  Don’t miss it!   A schedule of talks, performances, and other events can be found at Schedule.htm or Schedule.pdf , but they are still subject to change.


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