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Sedos brings Bernard Shaw's Arms and the Man to the Bridewell Theatre

Arms and the Man rehearsal. Photo credit: Stephen Russell.

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

SEDOS is presenting Bernard Shaw’s comedy Arms and the Man at the Bridewell Theatre – from September 17 to September 21, 2019.

All’s fair in love and war as a classic romantic triangle spins out of control in this humorous play that shows the futility of war and deals comedically with the hypocrisies of human nature.

Raina Petkoff craves more out of life. Having read every book in the library, including all the romance novels, she’s sure there is more in store for her – she wants adventure, she wants love, she wants to get the hell out of town. So, when a charming soldier on the hop from the battlefield clambers into her bedroom, what’s a clever, practical minded girl to do? Offer him sanctuary, feed him chocolate and fall in love. It’s only natural.

The problem is, she’s already engaged – to the most eligible man in town. Raina needs to decide if she stays true to her gallant fiancé, or if she elopes with this dashing, mysterious stranger. Will the battlefield hero conquer her heart, or will the suitor with the most chocolate win?

Arms and the Man is directed by Peter Foster, who said:

“When Sedos asked me to direct Bernard Shaw’s most famous comedy, I jumped at the chance – who doesn’t love a double romantic comedy with a topical message? Arms and the Man is a real play for today. Its themes of posing, social climbing, blackmail and talking about people behind their backs will really resonate with modern audiences. To misquote the final words of one of the characters: ‘What a play! What a cast! Rehearsals have been the most fun in ages’.”

Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) was an Irish playwright, critic, polemicist and political activist. He wrote more than sixty plays, including Pygmalion, Saint Joan and Major Barbara, and became the leading dramatist of his generation. In 1925 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

George Orwell said that Arms and the Man was written when Bernard Shaw was at the height of his powers as a dramatist: “It is probably the wittiest play he ever wrote, the most flawless technically, and in spite of being a very light comedy, the most telling.”

Arms and the Man is designed by Miranda Melville, with lighting by Martin Walton and sound by Adam Coppard.

The cast includes Sophie Platts-Martin (as Raina), Benjamin Dobson (Sergius), Karel Ryckeboer (Bluntschli), Alison Du Cane (Catherine), Madeleine Todd (Louka), Paul Caira (Petkoff), Kareem Nasif (Nicola) and Ren Ramirez (Russian Officer).

Image: Arms and the Man rehearsal. Photo credit: Stephen Russell.

Tickets: £11.50 – £20. Gala night: Friday, September 20 – £15.50 – £20. Ticket includes a free glass of fizz, a show programme and a late bar. To book, visit sedos.co.uk/.

Times: Evenings at 7.30pm, Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.