See it if
you're up for a sharply performed, lively and compelling evening of Shaw that succeeds in going beyond epigram, argument or lecture
Don't See it if
you can't sit through a 3 hour drama, no matter how fast-paced, or if you don't like Discussion plays, no matter how conversational & funny.
Physical production values are pretty thin, understandable being the inaugural show of a new small & independent company, but this production blows right past any such shortcomings.
This is Shaw made fresh & relevant by force of a strong, well balanced & capable ensemble that attacks Shaw’s language with verve & commitment. And clarity. What might have been a dry disquisition of opposing arguments sprinkled with epigrams & aphorisms is instead a living thing, empathy making both sides understandable & plausible.
Anastassiou as Barbara is self-posessed, with humor & warmth beneath her cool surface & intellect; Emerson’s Adolphus is appropriately bohemian, erudite & irresponsible; & Martello as patriarch Undershaft, whose armaments drive the moral & ethical questions that drive the action, is sympathetic, complicated & commanding.
However, though the actors are well directed, they're not well placed, needlessly made to use all of the difficult space at the audience's expense & discomfort. The actors carry on seamlessly, but there’s no reason for them to be pacing extreme left to right and back again, or for the audience to have to span that distance. It’s a not small complaint in an otherwise fine production.