Captain Brassbound's Conversion

Definition

Theater

  • A play by George Bernard Shaw, first produced in 1900by Harley Granville-barker at the Royal Court Theatre. Shaw wrotethe part of Lady Cicely Waynflete for Ellen Terry (see Terryfamily), with whom he had corresponded for years but nevermet. The role was therefore based on Terry's personality as Shaw perceivedit from their correspondence. When they finally met at rehearsals,they found they could not converse as easily as they had written.

    The disappointment seemed to carry over to opening night.According to the critic Max Beerbohm (who had replaced Shaw at theSaturday Review): "Miss Ellen Terry was duly vivaciouslast Tuesday. But she was, also, very nervous. I should not like thoseof the rising generation who saw the performance to imagine that MissTerry was within measurable distance of her best...."

    The work was published as one of Shaw's Three Plays forPuritans, the others being The Devil's Disciple (1897)and Caesar and Cleopatra (1906). The plot concerns Lady CicelyWaynflete's visit to Morocco with her brother-in-law, Sir Howard Hallam.They are escorted by his nephew, the young pirate Captain Brassbound.As Hallam has stolen the estate of Brassbound's father and causedhis mother's death, the pirate has him kidnapped. When a rescue partyarrives to seize Brassbound, Cicely reveals the truth and he is freed.Brassbound decides to return to piracy and, although she has fallenfor him, Lady Cicely is greatly relieved to see him go.

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