Devised and performed by Alexis Leighton and Helen Tierney.
The text of Mrs Shaw Herself is almost entirely drawn from her letters and diaries and those of, amongst others, Shaw, Beatrice Webb and T.E. Lawrence. Charlotte Payne-Townshend (1857-1943) was an Irish heiress and in her early forties when she married the famous playwright George Bernard Shaw. Both had previously taken a firm stance against marriage: Shaw was a notorious philanderer and she herself was terrified of physical intimacy and child-bearing, yet their unconventional marriage survived until her death. Although Shaw’s views on marriage remain ambiguous, there is no doubt that in many ways the marriage was a success. Not least, her fortune gave Shaw domestic comfort and stability, which enabled him to write so prolifically. Mrs Shaw Herself aims to bring Charlotte Shaw out from behind her husbands shadow, and explore her thoughts, ideas and considerable legacy.