|Written by||George Bernard Shaw|
|Date premiered||14 October 1912|
|Place premiered||Duke of York's theatre|
|Subject||Two couples want to switch partners|
|Genre||comedy of manners|
|Setting||A seaside hotel|
Overruled (1912) is a comic one-act play written by George Bernard Shaw. In Shaw's words, it is about "how polygamy occurs among quite ordinary people innocent of all unconventional views concerning it."The play concerns two couples who desire to switch partners, but are prevented from doing so by various considerations and end up negotiating an ambiguous set of relationships.
George Bernard Shaw, known at his insistence simply as Bernard Shaw, was an Irish playwright, critic, polemicist and political activist. His influence on Western theatre, culture and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and beyond. He wrote more than sixty plays, including major works such as Man and Superman (1902), Pygmalion (1912) and Saint Joan (1923). With a range incorporating both contemporary satire and historical allegory, Shaw became the leading dramatist of his generation, and in 1925 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Gregory Lunn and Mrs Juno are in love, having met during a sea voyage. On a sofa in a hotel where both are staying, they discuss their feelings. They are both already married, so they decide they must part, but are unable to do so. They then recognise the voices of their respective spouses, apparently staying together at the same hotel. They leave in confusion. Mrs Lunn and Mr. Sibthorpe Juno enter and sit together on the same sofa that the other pair have just left. Sibthorpe says he is in love with Mrs Lunn, but she says she is only mildly attracted to him. Sibthorpe wants her to either accept or reject him outright. Her willingness to merely have an affair disturbs him. Gregory and Mrs. Juno re-enter and both couples reveal their conflicting feelings. They all find they have different views about the situation. Gregory feels that there is a morally unacceptable contradiction between his desires and his honour. Sibthorpe, in contrast, says that such mixed feelings are fine, as long as one acts according to moral principles. Mrs Lunn believes that moral rules are silly. She thinks that as long as everyone gets the best they can out of the situation, that's all that matters. She's quite happy for Mrs Juno to have her husband for a while, and to return to compliment by enjoying her affair with Sibthorpe. Sibthorpe says that this is justifying polygamy. Mrs Lunn says she intends to continue the affair with Sibthorpe, because she enjoys it. Mrs Juno likewise refuses to stop seeing Gregory, because she enjoys being adored by him. So they agree to leave things as they are.
The play was first produced at the Duke of York's theatre on 14 October 1912, as part of an evening with other short plays by J. M. Barrie and Arthur Wing Pinero.The four characters were played by Claude King, Adolphus Vane Tempest, Miriam Lewes and Geraldine Olliffe.
Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, was a Scottish novelist and playwright, best remembered today as the creator of Peter Pan. He was born and educated in Scotland and then moved to London, where he wrote a number of successful novels and plays. There he met the Llewelyn Davies boys, who inspired him to write about a baby boy who has magical adventures in Kensington Gardens, then to write Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, a "fairy play" about an ageless boy and an ordinary girl named Wendy who have adventures in the fantasy setting of Neverland.
Sir Arthur Wing Pinero was an English playwright and, early in his career, actor.
Shaw's friend Archibald Henderson, noted that the play was not well received at the time. Henderson also thought it a poor work: "The conversations are forced and unnatural: people do not say such things in real life. The situations are mechanical; and critics 'abused' the play, to Shaw's unrestrained disgust."
Archibald Henderson was an American professor of mathematics who wrote on a variety of subjects, including drama and history. He is well known for his friendship with George Bernard Shaw.
Candida, a comedy by playwright George Bernard Shaw, was written in 1894 and first published in 1898, as part of his Plays Pleasant. The central characters are clergyman James Morell, his wife Candida and a youthful poet, Eugene Marchbanks, who tries to win Candida's affections. The play questions Victorian notions of love and marriage, asking what a woman really desires from her husband. The cleric is a Christian Socialist, allowing Shaw—himself a Fabian Socialist—to weave political issues, current at the time, into the story.
The Man of Destiny is an 1897 play by George Bernard Shaw, set in Italy during the early career of Napoleon. It was published as a part of Plays Pleasant, which also included Arms and the Man, Candida and You Never Can Tell. Shaw titled the volume Plays Pleasant in order to contrast it with his first book of plays, Plays Unpleasant.
Captain Brassbound's Conversion (1900) is a play by G. Bernard Shaw. It was published in Shaw's 1901 collection Three Plays for Puritans. The first American production of the play starred Ellen Terry in 1907. The play explores the relationship between the law, justice, revenge and forgiveness.
Fanny's First Play is a 1911 play by George Bernard Shaw. It was first performed as an anonymous piece, the authorship of which was to be kept secret. However, critics soon recognised it as the work of Shaw. It opened at the Little Theatre in the Adelphi in London on 19 April 1911 and ran for 622 performances. The mystery over the authorship helped to publicise it. It had the longest run of any of Shaw's plays. A second production opened on Broadway on September 16, 1912 for 256 performances. The play toured the provinces in England in the same year.
Pygmalion is a play by George Bernard Shaw, named after a Greek mythological figure. It was first presented on stage to the public in 1913.
How He Lied to Her Husband is a one-act comedy play by George Bernard Shaw, who wrote it, at the request of actor Arnold Daly, over a period of four days while he was vacationing in Scotland in 1904. In its preface he described it as "a sample of what can be done with even the most hackneyed stage framework by filling it in with an observed touch of actual humanity instead of with doctrinaire romanticism." The play has often been interpreted as a kind of satirical commentary on Shaw's own highly successful earlier play Candida.
Too True to Be Good (1932) is a comedy written by playwright George Bernard Shaw at the age of 76. Subtitled "A Collection of Stage Sermons by a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature", it moves from surreal allegory to the "stage sermons" in which characters discuss political, scientific and other developments of the day. The second act of the play contains a character based on Shaw's friend T. E. Lawrence.
Village Wooing, A Comedietta for Two Voices is a play by George Bernard Shaw, written in 1933 and first performed in 1934. It has only two characters, hence the subtitle "a comedietta for two voices". The first scene takes place aboard a liner, the second in a village shop. The characters are known only as "A" and "Z".
The Shewing-Up of Blanco Posnet: A Sermon in Crude Melodrama is a one-act play by George Bernard Shaw, first produced in 1909. Shaw describes the play as a religious tract in dramatic form.
Annajanska, the Bolshevik Empress: A Revolutionary Romancelet is a one-act play by George Bernard Shaw, written in 1917.
Buoyant Billions (1948) is a play by George Bernard Shaw. Written at the age of 92, it was his last full-length play. Subtitled "a comedy of no manners", the play is about a brash young man courting the daughter of an elderly billionaire, who is pondering how to dispose of his wealth after his death, a subject that was preoccupying Shaw himself at the time.
Geneva, a Fancied Page of History in Three Acts (1938) is a topical play by George Bernard Shaw. It describes a summit meeting designed to contain the increasingly dangerous behaviour of three dictators, Herr Battler, Signor Bombardone, and General Flanco.
Jitta's Atonement (1923) is an adaptation by George Bernard Shaw of the play Frau Gitta's Sühne by Siegfried Trebitsch. It is about a woman who has to atone to her husband for having an affair with his best friend. The atonement of both Jitta and other characters take unexpected forms. Shaw dramatically rewrote the last part of the play, giving it a more characteristically Shavian tone.
The Inca of Perusalem, An Almost Historical Comedietta (1915) is a comic one-act play written during World War I by George Bernard Shaw. The plot appears at first to be a fairy-tale like story about a fantastical "Inca", but it eventually becomes obvious that the Inca is Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany.
O'Flaherty V.C., A Recruiting Pamphlet (1915) is a comic one-act play written during World War I by George Bernard Shaw. The plot is about an Irish soldier in the British army returning home after winning the Victoria Cross. The play was written at a time when the British government was attempting to promote recruitment in Ireland, while many Irish republicans expressed opposition to a war to defend the British Empire.
The Music Cure, a Piece of Utter Nonsense (1913) is a short comedy sketch by George Bernard Shaw, satirising therapeutic fads of the era and the Marconi scandal of 1912.
The Glimpse of Reality, A Tragedietta (1909) is a short play by George Bernard Shaw, set Italy during the 15th century. It is a parody of the verismo melodramas in vogue at the time. Shaw included it among what he called his "tomfooleries".
The Fascinating Foundling (1909) is a short comic play by George Bernard Shaw. Shaw classified it as one of his "tomfooleries". He was so unimpressed with his own work that the published text was humorously subtitled "a Disgrace to the Author".
Press Cuttings (1909), subtitled "A Topical Sketch Compiled from the Editorial and Correspondence Columns of the Daily Papers" is a play by George Bernard Shaw. It is a farcical comedy about the suffragettes' campaign for votes for women in Britain. The play is a departure from Shaw's earlier Ibsenesque dramas on social issues. Shaw's own pro-feminist views are never articulated by characters in the play, but instead it ridicules the arguments of the anti-suffrage campaigners.
The Interlude at the Playhouse (1907) is a short comic sketch written by George Bernard Shaw to be delivered by Cyril Maude and his wife Winifred Emery as a curtain raiser at the opening of The Playhouse, a newly renovated theatre managed by Maude. The sketch was performed on Monday, 28 January, 1907.