Bernard Shaw’s love letters reborn in Brighton


“I’ll wait until you ‘need’ me, and then I’ll mother you. That’s the only unselfish love. I’ve never been admired or loved (properly) but one and a half times in my life, and I am perfectly sick of loving. All on one side isn’t fair.” – Dame Ellen Terry

Nobel Prize laureate Bernard Shaw is thought to have once written a quarter of a million letters during his lifetime, many of which have not survived, Shaw himself warned his publisher that the true number of his letters would run to twenty volumes.

But it is Shaw’s love letters to the adored English actress Ellen Terry in 1892 that are renowned for their elucidation of the inner lives of both artists.

Their correspondence is infused with a joyous, poignant quality – and their timelessness throws light on contemporary subjects, despite being written long before the digital age, but they also reflect the absorbing attitudes of Victorian thought. They reveal both of the artists’ thoughts on the uncertain future of theatre at the end of the nineteenth century.

The evocative and romantic letters have been organised into a gripping narrative read by the actor Jean Rogers and is called – My Dear Miss Terry – the production will feature at the Rialto Theatre in Brighton from the 31st March – 1st April. The fascinating epistles have been considered by many as the “greatest love letters ever written.”

Photo by Philip Hartley.
Paddy O’Keeffe with Jean Rogers. Photo by Philip Hartley.

Rogers will feature – known for her role as Dolly Skilbeck on TV’s Emmerdale, she enjoyed seasons with Sir Laurence Olivier’s Chichester Festival Theatre and was a founding member of his National Theatre Company.

The reading and literary exploration will be joined by Paddy O’Keeffe of the award-winning Bernard Shaw Invites You – which received five-star reviews and won the Argus Angel Award in the Brighton Fringe, going on to successful runs in London, Dublin and New Delhi.

01 jean-rogers-interview-image
Jean Rogers. Photo from here.


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