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The Admirable Bashville (1932/3)
Mary Stuart Programme Image Based on the novel "Cashel Byron's Profession", this play follows Cashel Byron, a world champion prizefighter, as he tries to woo wealthy aristocrat Lydia Carew without revealing his illegal profession. Lydia is portrayed as moral and intelligent woman (although "priggish" according to Shaw) and is constantly contrasted with the "ruffian" Cashel. Lydia was advised by her recently deceased father to find a husband with a profession, as opposed to an idle gentleman or an art critic like her father. Cashel's childhood ends when he runs away from school to Australia and becomes apprentice to an ex-world champion boxer. When Cashel goes to England to secure his world title in that country he meets Lydia at her country manor. After much miscommunication and drawing room comedy, Cashel gives up boxing and succeeds in marrying Lydia. Full synopsis or Gallery.


Cetewayo: When first I came I deemed those chimneys the fuliginous altars Of some infernal god. I now perceive The English dare not look upon the sky. They are moles and owls : they call upon the soot To cover them .

Cetewayo: Why does the trembling white with frantic toil Of hand and brain produce the magic gun That slays a mile off, whilst the manly Zulu Dares look his foe i' the face ; fights foot to foot; Lives in the present; drains the Here and Now; Makes life a long reality, and death A moment only; whilst your Englishman Glares on his burning candle's winding-sheets, Counting the steps of his approaching doom, And in the murky corners ever sees Two horrid shadows. Death and Poverty

cast list production credits
Cetewayo Alastair Sim


Frank Napier
Lydia Carew Valerie Tudor


George B. Shaw
Robert Mellish Morland Graham Theatre The Old Vic
Cashel Byron Roger Livesey Presented by Lilian Bayliss
Bashville Charles Hickman Produced by Harcourt Williams
Adelaide Gisborne Clare Harris    
Lucian Webber William Fox    
Lord Worthington George Devine

George Bernard Shaw

William Paradise Anthony Quayle
The Referee Harry Sturges
First Policeman Marius Goring
Newsboy Peter Du Calion
Interesting facts

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In 1932/33 Alastair started his second season at he The Old Vic where Malcom Kean and Peggy Ashcroft were leading the company.

According to "Note on Modern Prizefighting" (1901) Shaw intended the fights described in Cashel Byron's Profession/The Admirable Bashville to turn the public away from the sport but the workl is written in such a light-hearted tone this unlikely result never materialized.