“Shaw at Home” Conference at Ayot St Lawrence & London








For those coming from abroad, this is the last day to arrive in the UK if you want to attend the entire conference.  Find your own transport from the airport (or wherever you are) to the hotel or B&B in or near Ayot St Lawrence that you’ve booked ahead.  See for advice and full particulars.  Upon arriving, there might be time for a jet-lag nap and/or a walkabout to see the neighborhood.  Meals on own locally.   Hotels will have restaurants, but those staying at B&Bs should ask their hosts beforehand about meals other than breakfast.  Please note that in Ayot St Lawrence the Palladian Church, Shaw’s Corner, and the Brocket Arms are all within easy walking distance of each other.  




Ayot St Lawrence


7:00 – 9:30am



Each morning you could start the day with a Full Breakfast at your hotel or B&B (included in the price or not according to your private arrangement) before the minibus arrives to take you to Ayot (schedule of pick up times will be sent to you).  On every day but Wednesday an Optional Free Continental Breakfast (pastries, yoghurt and fruit, tea and coffee) will be offered at Ayot in a tent near the church.



from 9:00am on

Palladian Church


Registration at Ayot St Lawrence.  Pick up conference packet at the Palladian Church.  Then proceed to Shaw’s Corner.



9:00am – 11:30pm Shaw’s Corner


Tour of Shaw’s Corner & village with Lizzie Dunford, Asst. House Steward, using “Bernard Shaw’s Rhyming Picture Guide to Ayot Saint Lawrence.”   Tours will start from Shaw’s Corner at 10:00am and 10:45am, limited to 15 at a time.  This tour may be repeated during the week if you miss it.




The Church




Welcoming to the conference from Sue Morgan, House Steward at Shaw’s Corner.


12:00-1:00pm       The Marquee


Lunch provided (all lunches will be at the marquee, a large tent near the Palladian Church.)




Palladian Church


Brief welcomings to the conference by The Venerable Jonathan Smith, Archdeacon of St. Albans; Alan Knight, Chairman of the Shaw Society; and Michael O’Hara, President of the International Shaw Society.  Introduction of Michael Holroyd by Leonard Conolly, Trent U., Canada.



Keynote Address by Sir Michael Holroyd: “A Shavian Tale of Two Cities: From Dublin to London.” 





Tea & Coffee Break





All sessions

will be at the

 Palladian Church


“The Place of ‘Place’ in Shaw’s Life and Writing”

 Chaired by Richard Dietrich, U. of South Florida, Treasurer of the International Shaw Society 


3:00-3:30) ) Alice McEwan (Ph.D. Research Student at U. of Hertfordshire): “Shaw’s Living Space in Fact and Fiction: The Playwright’s Interiors as a Critique of the Bourgeois Home”


3:30-4:00) Elizabeth Dunford (Assistant House Steward at Shaw’s Corner): “A Living Shrine: Shaw’s Corner as Reliquary.


4:00-4:30) Michelle Paull (St Mary’s University College) “Shaw not at home – early politics and playwriting”


4:30-5:00) Allan David Johnson (City University of Hong Kong) “Building the Modern World: The Architectural Spaces of Shaw’s Drama”



5:00 – 8:00pm


Dinner at the Brocket Arms or back at hotel  (transport provided)



7:30 – 9:30pm




Drinks Reception (wine & canapés) with a talk from Toni Kanal Green and Richard Digby Day, who will talk about their many years of providing plays at Shaw’s Corner and other matters.





Transport back to hotels & B&Bs (Pickups will be at Shaw’s Corner, times to be determined).  





Ayot St Lawrence




Breakfast at hotel or B&B or, after transport, free continental breakfast at Ayot.





Session 2

All sessions at the Palladian Church



“Shaw & Women”

Chaired by Ann Stewart, Membership Secretary of the ISS. 


9:30-10:00) Ellen Dolgin (VP of ISS, Chair of English & Co-Chair, Gender Studies, Dominican College, Orangeburg, NY) “All Roles Lead to Joan: Smashing More Than Windows from Suffrage Drama to Saint Joan”


10:00-10:30) Padraig O’Cleirigh (University of Guelph, Canada) Lilith’s Vortex and Greek Cosmology


10:30-11:00) Elizabeth Buras (Candidate for Masters in Theatre Directing at Texas State University) “From Raina to Ann: Progression of the Shavian Women”





Coffee Break





Michael Billington: On Shaw in the Theatre

Introduced by Michael O’Hara, President of the ISS





Lunch provided



1:00pm – 3:00pm




“Shaw and Drama/Theatre”   

Chaired by Ellen Dolgin, VP of the ISS, Chair of English & Co-Chair, Gender Studies,

Dominican College, Orangeburg, NY 


1:00-1:30) Joan Templeton (Long Island U. & Past President, Ibsen Society of America)

“In Defense of Shaw: The Quintessence of Ibsenism 


1:30-2:00) Rodelle Weintraub (Penn State U.)  “Whose Dream Is It Anyway?  Caesar and Cleopatra


2:00-2:30) Desmond Harding (Central Michigan U.)  “The City and the State: Major Barbara and the Urbanization of Creative-Destructive Capitalism


2:30-3:00) Soudabeh Ananisarab (U. of Nottingham) Malvern and Shaw’s Eugenics: Explaining Shaw’s Association with the Malvern Theatre Festival”




3:00 – 3:30pm





3:30 –4:30pm



“Shaw and War   Chaired by Jean Reynolds (Polk State College, Florida)


3:30-4:00) Lagretta Lenker (U. of South Florida) “The Fabian Mystique: GBS, ASB, & War”


4:00-4:30) John McInerney (U. of Scranton) “Directing Arms and the Man



5:00 – 7:30pm


 Dinner at Brocket Arms or back at hotel (transport provided)




7:30 – 9:00pm


“Shaw and Music”:  In Memory of Isidor Saslav.   Introduced by Leonard Conolly.


Shaw’s musical favorites will be played by Elisabeth & Lucy Waterhouse on piano and violin and sung by mezzo-soprano Brigitte Bogar.  With readings from & commentary on Shaw’s music criticism by Christopher Innes (York U., Canada). 



9:30 – 11:00pm


Transport back to hotels & B&Bs (Pickups will be at Shaw’s Corner, times to be determined).  


June 19, Wednesday.




6:30 – 7:30am


Breakfast at Hotel or B&B, or continental breakfast on the coach).   Minibus pickups at no later than 7:30am (consult transport schedule) .




Coach to London.  Minibuses will take you to the large bus, which will depart at 8:00am sharp. (Continental breakfast provided on the coach)



9:15am (approx)


Arrive at LSE (London School of Economics) / Coffee & Intro to London day





Talks from Sue Donnelly (Head of Archives) and Ed Fay (Digital Library Manager) on Shaw and the LSE, the Shaw photographic collection, and other Shaw archive materials.





Coffee Break






Polly Toynbee will speak on Shaw as Socialist

Introduced by Barbara Smoker, VP of the Shaw Society, former President of the National Secular Society, former Chair of the British Voluntary Euthanasia Society, etc.!  




1:15 – 2:45pm


Break for lunch. You could have lunch right on the LSE campus or nearby or, for the sound of limb and quick of foot, you could walk to the center of Waterloo Bridge for views up and down the Thames and of the National Theatre, and then back to Covent Garden market (including St. Paul’s Church on the west end of Covent Garden where Eliza Doolittle bumped into you-know-who), stopping for lunch wherever you wish.  Maps and suggested routes will be provided.    




2:45 – 5:00pm


Get back on the coach for a tour of Shavian London (possible stops include Adelphi Terrace, Whitehall Court, Fitzroy Square, the British Museum, and RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art).  Tour Guide will be Michael Sargent of the Shaw Society, educationalist and theatre director. 


5:00 - 6:00pm


Coach to the Questor’s Theatre in Ealing (West London)


Buffet supper at the theatre provided by the Shaw Society (cash bar available) and introductory talk by the director of the play.  Send meal choices to Lizzie Dunsford at




Mrs. Warren’s Profession at Questors Theatre, followed by question-and-answer session with the director and the actors. 






Coach back to Ayot and then to hotels or B&Bs


June 20,



Ayot St Lawrence


7:00 – 9:30am


Breakfast at Hotel or B&B or, after transport, free continental breakfast in Ayot.



10 –11:30am SESSION 5

All sessions at the Palladian Church


“Shaw’s Friendships & Correspondence”

Chaired by Michael O’Hara, President of the International Shaw Society 


10:00-10:30) ) Jay Tunney,  (Author of The Prizefighter and the Playwright: Gene Tunney and George Bernard Shaw) “The Spiritual Shaw”


10:30-11:00) Katharine Cockin (U. of Hull., editor of The Collected Letters of Ellen Terry)  “Ellen Terry’s Letters”


11:00-11:30) Charles A. Carpenter (Binghamton U.) "Shaw & Gilbert Murray: Great Friends, Great Opponents"





Stanley Weintraub: “The Autobiography of Corno di Bassetto

Introduced by Michel Pharand, Editor of SHAW: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies




12:30 -1:30 PM


 Lunch provided







“Shaw in Other Countries”

Chaired by Michel Pharand, Editor of SHAW: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies


1:30-2:00) Jean Reynolds (Polk State College, Florida) “Pygmalion in Africa”


2:00-2:30) Vania Papanikolaou (Postdoctoral, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) “You Never Can Tell or Dad Is Missing: The Reception of G. B. Shaw in Greek Theatre at the Beginning of the 20th Century.” 


2:30-3:00) Gautam Sengupta (Gurudas College, Kolkata) “Shaw & India: Crossing Cultural Frontiers” 








3:30 –4:30pm



“Comparisons & Influences”

Chaired by John McInerney, U. of Scranton, Recording Secretary of the International Shaw Society 


3:30-4:00) Frances Hughes (Chairman of The Irving Society) “GBS: The Youthful Playgoer in Dublin”


4:00-4:30) Lawrence Switzky (U. of Toronto) “Left of Bayreuth, or Shaw’s ‘Displaced’ Wagner”



5:00 – 7:00pm


Free Time


7:00 – 9:00pm


Celebratory Dinner (at the church) with live music from the Joe Peck Quintet.  Talk by Sylvia Syms (OBE, film, TV & stage actress, VP of Shaw Society): topic TBA.  Introduced by Alan Knight, Chairman of the Shaw Society




9:00 -11:00pm


Transport back to hotels & B&Bs (Pickups will be at Shaw’s Corner, times to be determined).  



JUNE 21,



Ayot St Lawrence


7:00 – 9:30 AM


Full Breakfast at hotel or B&B or, after transport, free continental breakfast at Ayot.






“Geneva & Buoyant Billions

Chaired by Lagretta Lenker, U. of South Florida


10:00-10:30) James Redmond  (U. of London) "Tragedy and the Shavian Play: Geneva and Brecht's Galileo"


10:30-11:00) Christa Zorn (Indiana U. Southeast)  Geneva – or the Failure of Language”


11:00-11:30) Mark Lepitre (Doctoral student at Laval U., Quebec City) Buoyant Billions or How to Better the World”



11:30– 11:45am


Coffee Break



11:45am – 12:45pm



“Shaw in the 21st Century”

Chaired by Richard Dietrich, U. of South Florida, Treasurer of ISS 


11:45-12:15) Gustavo A. Rodríguez Martín (U. of Extremadura, Spain) Shav versus Shakes: an Intertextual Approach”


12:15-12:45) Biljana Vlaskovic (PhD studies in the English Department of The Faculty of Philology and Arts in Kragujevac, Serbia) “Use and Abuse of Shaw on the Internet







Lunch provided


2:00 – 3:30pm

Palladian Church


Staged Reading of Buoyant Billions by Michael Friend Productions. Introduced by Malcolm Wroe (Actor, Writer, Shaw Society Member)



3:30 – 4:00pm


Talk by Phillip Riley (Editor of The Shavian) on “Why we need a Shaw National Theatre.”   Introduced by Malcolm Wroe. 



4:00 - 5:30pm






Outdoors on the Back Lawn


Picnic Supper (with Cash Bar) on Shaw’s back lawn, followed by an outdoor production of Geneva by Michael Friend Productions. (The original 3-act version from 1938, plus the scene where Battler invades Ruritania from 1939).  Shaw gets the last word!



9:30 - ?


Farewells at the Brocket Arms.  Barbecue available.  






Transport back to hotels & B&Bs (Pickups will be at Shaw’s Corner, times to be determined).  














Unless you have arranged to stay longer, hotels and B&Bs will probably expect you to vacate by noon (or possibly even earlier: check with them), and it may be up to you to arrange transport to the airport or your next stop (that’s being worked on).  You could meet others at breakfast, either at your hotel or B&B or in Ayot, before departing.  There may also be walking tours provided at Ayot for those who wish some exercise and a more leisurely departure.