Shaw’s Mrs. Warren’s Profession at the Lantern Theater

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

The Lantern Theater Company of Philadelphia is presenting George Bernard Shaw’s Mrs. Warren’s Profession now until October 9.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) was a successful playwright, author and critic. Like his contemporary, Oscar Wilde, both men were Irish, and both men tackled touchy contemporary subjects. Oscar Wilde had written Lady Windermere’s Fan in 1892, and A Woman of No Importance in 1893. Shaw wrote Mrs. Warren’s Profession in 1893. It is curious to note that both men wrote a similar play in 1893. Shaw, writing about the absent mother whose profession is kept a secret from her daughter who spent years in boarding schools and college, while Wilde wrote his play about a woman who once participated in socially taboo behavior. So we have strong, non-traditional women who are living outside accepted norms as leading characters. Shaw’s Mrs. Warren appears to be the more famous of the two.

In this fine production directed by Kathryn MacMillan, there is no shortage of strong acting and strong characters. As the title character, theatre legend Mary Martello is Mrs. Warren. Winner of five Barrymore Awards, she did not disappoint her audience. Ms. Martello reveled in the kaleidoscopic natures of Kitty Warren. At once coquettish, then aggressive, then hopelessly, helplessly feminine when the situation demanded, she gave a fine performance. As her daughter, Vivie Warren, the young Claire Inie-Richards riveted the room with her intensity and candor. Frank Gardner was recreated by the astonishing skill and aplomb of Daniel Fredrick, who appeared to have the Shavian style and cadence down pat. Listening to him and seeing him gad about with his innumerable capers was a joy. His Frank Gardner could easily be Dorian Gray, a role he would surely be fine in portraying. Being physically delectable, he could be the most scurrilous character, yet we must love him. The other male characters were suavely portrayed by David Bardeen, Andrew Criss, and John Lopes.

Special mention should be made of the fabulous moustaches worn by Andrew Criss as the sleazy Sir George Crofts. He appeared to be a morphing into an Irish terrier before our very eyes.

If Shaw is new to you, Mrs. Warren’s Profession is a play you must see, since there are outstanding performances all ‘round. If the Lantern Theater is new to you, do yourself a favor and become acquainted with this excellent theater company.

For further information, visit their website,


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