Director Nick Rudall discusses the play "Candida"
BROADCAST: Sep. 20, 1990 | DURATION: 00:51:51
Nick Rudall talks about directing his 7th play by George Bernard Shaw. Three cast members, Daria Martel, Tom Amandes and David New are part of the interview, too. The actors reenact various scenes of the play. Rudall explains Shaw wrote "Candida" as a way to sort through his complicated feelings with a woman.
Tap within the transcript to jump to that part of the audio.
Studs Terkel If there is one theater in Chicago associated with the plays more than any other theater of George Bernard Shaw, it's the Court Theatre on the South Side. And I guess the cause, the reason why, is Nick Rudall, the artistic director of the Court, who is now on his seventh Shaw play and it's one of Shaw's earliest and of course, it's a witty play. And to say that Shaw is witty is a redundancy if there ever was one. And it's "Candida", and seated around is Nick Rudall, the director, who is playing a role, Burgess, you'll hear about him in a moment. And Candida is played by Daria Martel and we'll hear about her. Mostly we'll hear scenes from this play. Reverend Morell, her husband played by Tom Amandes, a veteran Chicago actor, a number of theaters in town and now at Shaw, and Marchbanks, young Marchbanks, who really is a catalyst here of one sort or another to bring out truths of people and the character, David New. And, so, Nick, I thought before we start, since you're a Shavian all the way. Suppose we have Bernard Shaw. Bernard Shaw is being quizzed by the reporters and he handles them like he handles babies, you know, and they ask him questions. Of course, they're all, to him they're all elementary kindergarten questions about the species and wars. And this was sometime in the, before World War II, I think it was, somewhere between the two wars. Suppose we hear Shaw talking.
Nick Rudall Filled with opinions all the time. He has a wonderful line in this play, Burgess has a line, actually, which is that opinions can become very serious things when people start acting on them. So he was quite capable of--
Studs Terkel Your seventh Shaw play, before we hear members of your gifted cast, it opens, by the way, "Candida" opens September 27th and runs through October 28th. What are the Shaw plays you've done? "Candida" is the seventh.
Studs Terkel "Misalliance".
Studs Terkel "Pygmalion".
Nick Rudall There's something attractive about the early plays, which is the later ones, his opinions kept coming out of the mouths of every single character, sometimes endlessly. In the early plays he still was shaping his craft. A lot of what he was getting from Ibsen was still there. He was still very much interested in what the people were thinking and feeling. And "Candida" we find as we were rehearsing it is a play that has a lot going on behind the lines as opposed to in the later plays where the characters really overtly say what they think and feel. Here they're struggling to understand what it is to be human and they're struggling to understand why they are behaving savagely, in some sense.
Studs Terkel Set the scene for "Candida". You're direct--set the scene for "Candida", and, perhaps, the people around. Why don't you let the actors speak for themselves? Candida, Daria Martel, just a bit about yourself. You've had a pretty good track record.
Daria Martel Well, I'm from California originally, and then I've just finished doing two years of the American Repertory Theater with their company there. They have a training program where they get the actors to work as often as possible with a professional company. It's a wonderful intro to--
Daria Martel Right.
Daria Martel Right.
Daria Martel I--it's--just last night we were talking about this after the dress rehearsal, and she is difficult, and part of what I'm realizing is so difficult is that so many people have opinions about who they think she is. So--
Nick Rudall A lot of Shaw's women are very difficult because Shaw's views of women were so complicated. He wanted--they are always paradoxical creatures, they are both--I mean, he calls her the Virgin Mother of Assumption, this sort of, this is just this extraordinary composite of being a mother, a wife, a lover, a mistress, and his men are always sort of very foolish creatures in many ways, but his women because of what happened in his life, both in terms of his relationship with his mother and the women in his life, his--the women become very complex composite creatures.
Nick Rudall That's right. In fact this play was written because of a relationship he was having at that time which was almost identical to the plot. You talk about setting up the play. There--the play itself is once, yet again, of Shaw's plays about a triangle: two men and a woman. And in his own life, of course, his mother left his father to go and live with an artist, a music teacher. He maintained all way through his life that that was a celibate relationship, and certainly an innocent one, he maintained. But, clearly, that fact in his biography affected both his own life and the plays that he wrote. Because most of the plays, if you think of "Arms and the Man", it's also about two men and a woman. And if you think of "Major Barbara" even, or "Pygmalion" or what's the revolutionary play? The American Revolution play.
Daria Martel Although "St Joan" in a sense is, again this extraction of this highly purified idea of woman, and I think that Shaw seems to keep wanting to work through his relationship with his mother and that search for love that she never really reciprocated. And, so, that's one of the things that makes it so difficult is that when you're trying to do an extraction, how do you make it flesh and blood, and if you are a real person in the modern society trying to be a woman, an independent, the way you look at things is vastly different from the way it's painted by Shaw.
Studs Terkel Yes, do, but set the scene itself. I mean, where are we? Who is Candida? What's her relation to Reverend Morell, her husband, and who is young Marchbanks, set that and then we'll do a scene.
Nick Rudall At the beginning of the play we know that the James Mavor Morell, a reverend gentleman and sort of a, he's a socialist and who is also a man of the church and he's married to Candida, and he has in the course of his social work found this stray poet named Marchbanks, who's 18 years old, who is struggling to get away from his aristocratic family and he's brought him into the household. And Candida has just returned home and Marchbanks the poet has come with her. And now the Reverend and Marchbanks have this conversation about what has happened.
Tom Amandes You
David New Thank you. I should like that very much, but I really mustn't. The truth is, Mrs. Morell told me not to. She said she didn't think you'd ask me to stay to lunch, but that I was to remember if you did, that you didn't really want me to. She said I'd understand, but I don't. Please, don't tell her I told you.
David New How?
Tom Amandes Why, you duffer! No. No, I won't put it in that way. My dear lad. In a happy marriage such as ours, there is something very sacred in the return of the wife to her home. An old friend or a truly noble and sympathetic soul is not in the way on such occasions, but a chance visitor is. Candida thought I would rather not have you here, but she was wrong. I'm very fond of you, my boy and I should like you to see for yourself what a happy thing it is to be married as I am.
Tom Amandes I, I know it, my lad. Rochefoucauld said that there are convenient marriages, but no delightful ones. You don't know the comfort of seeing through and through a thundering liar and rotten cynic like that fellow. Ha, ha! Now, off with you to the park, right your poem, half-past one, sharp, mind, we never wait for anybody.
Tom Amandes Now?
Tom Amandes I wasn't going to leave it, my dear boy. I thought that you were. Come, sit down quietly. Tell me what it is. Remember, we are friends, and need not fear that either of us will be anything but patient and kind--
David New I am not forgetting myself, and only full of horror. You shall see whether this is a time for patience and kindness. Don't look at me in that self-complacent way. You think you're so stronger than I am, but I shall stagger you if you have a heart in your breast.
David New First--
Tom Amandes First--
Tom Amandes Why, my dear child, of course you do. Everybody loves her, they can't help it. I like it, but say, Eugene, do you think yours is a case to be talked about? You're under 20, she's over 30, doesn't it look rather, too, like a case of calf love?
Tom Amandes To her? Eugene, take care. I have been patient, I hope to remain patient, but there are some things I won't allow. Don't force me to show you the indulgence I should show a child. Be a man!
David New No. That has put aside all that cant. It horrifies me when I think of the doses of it she has had to endure all the weary years during which you have selfishly and blindly sacrificed her to minister to your self-sufficiency. You, who have not one thought, one sense in common with her.
Studs Terkel That's very good. It really sets the two characters off very well. By the way, they're very good. We're talking about Tom Amandes as Reverend Morell and David New as Marchbanks. They're set off right off the bat, aren't they?
Studs Terkel I'm thinking of Morell, there's smugness there, complacency, he's an enlightened man aware of all the political and social currents of life, and he says the right things, he believes in the humane approach to the human species and you got this impulsive young guy. Now, who's the strong--obviously, it seems that the stronger one is--
Studs Terkel What is strength? And, so--and Candida, of course, Mrs. Morell. Candida has a father, too, we'll come to that, a certain kind of guy who represents probably the opposite of what Morell apparently represents.
Nick Rudall I think so. There's a question that Shaw examines, indeed, of what human strengths and human weaknesses are. What's wonderfully complex about the play, though, is that you think there are answers, but he in writing about writing this play he said, "I was trying to struggle with ideas that I couldn't understand about what it means to be human." And one of the joys of working on it is that there's no clear-cut answer. It is a real dialectic about who is strong and who is weak. I mean, the artist seems to have the truth but he really doesn't always understand what life is all about.
Daria Martel It's so amazing to me that someone who doesn't understand what he's struggling with can write so beautifully. If someone who didn't have a clear grasp of what the issues were and, yet, he managed to put on paper something complicated and--
Nick Rudall Well, I think part of that was because this play, although we've talked about the other plays that have this triangle in them, this ménage which obsessed his life, this is the only play that was truly about what it was writing about. It's not about the politics of the world, it's about the politics of the family. It's a truly domestic piece, and what is actually happening to him at that time was that he had fallen in love with Janet Achurch, who was an actress.
Studs Terkel Shaw.
Nick Rudall Yeah, Shaw had fallen in love with her. And she was married to a man named Charrington who was one of Shaw's producers and he actually clinically says he worked out--he wrote the play in order to work out what he was feeling about this guilty relationship that he had with this actress.
Daria Martel Yes.
Nick Rudall Absolutely.
Studs Terkel Suppose we take a break. Now, we're talking to several members of the Court Theatre Company that has, by the way, an excellent track record on Shaw and other plays contemporary and classic, and Nick Rudall is the director, Artistic Director of the company, and he has a role called Burgess, and we'll come to that. Candida is played by Daria Martel and Tom Amandes is Reverend Morell, and Marchbanks the young poet, a stray in a sense, but he's also upper-class, which, of course, affects this guy Burgess a lot, who is a kind of a gross kind of guy. Court Theatre. And David New is playing Marchbanks, and this opens September 27th, runs through October 28th, that's at 55th and Ellis. Daria Martel, Candida, Tom Amandes, Reverend Morell, and David New, Marchbanks, and you, Nick, directing and Burgess. So we've set the scene. Now here's the challenge of the two: 18-year-old Marchbanks that he, by the way, can make Candida happier than this guy can. This guy--
Nick Rudall That is part of his challenge, yeah, yes, that he thinks he can make her happier. There actually are two other characters in the play who are very interesting little characters. There's a curate who is named Lexy, who is Marchbanks' subordinate, and his secretary--
Studs Terkel Morrell's.
Nick Rudall Morrell's. I'm sorry, yes. Morell's. And his secretary, Miss Proserpine, who are, in a sense they are the touchstones of the piece. Through them you see what people think of Morell and Marchbanks and Candida.
Daria Martel Discoveries.
Nick Rudall Yes.
Nick Rudall His heart is in the right place. He's really, as you said, pompous but he's very generous, and in the scene that we were doing earlier at the end of that, it turns out quite simply that after Marchbanks says that he is in love with Candida, they quarrel about it, it gets violent, even, the question of force is raised, physical force as opposed to the force of ideas, and we are left stranded at the end of the first act with knowing that this complacent man, this generous, hardworking, socialist reverend has had his world shattered because he doesn't know how to deal with the truth that Marchbanks puts in his face, namely that he loves the wife and claims that he will be able to make her happier than Morell possibly could with the force of his ideas. And, so, then the next time we see them, in a sense, is when we see Candida and Morell left alone for the first time in the play where they are talking about seemingly their ordinary lives. But by this time, what's going on underneath is desperately painful for Morell, and I thought we could do a little scene of that, if you like.
Tom Amandes But--
Daria Martel Yes. I must be talked to sometimes. Now, you're beginning to look better already. Why didn't you give up all this tiresome overworking? Going out every night, lecturing and talking. Of course, what you say is all very right and very true, but it does no good. They don't mind what you say to them one little bit. Of course they agree with you. But what's the use of people agreeing with you if they go and do just the opposite of what you tell them the moment your back is turned? Look at our congregation at St. Dominic's. Why do they come to hear you talking about Christianity every Sunday? Why? Just because they've been so full of business and money-making for six days that they want to forget all about it and have a rest on the seventh so that they can go back fresh and make money harder than ever? You positively help them at it instead of hindering them.
Tom Amandes You know very well, Candida, that I often blow them up soundly for that. But if there is nothing in their church-going but rest and diversion, why don't they try something more amusing? More self-indulgent? There must be some good in the fact that they prefer St. Dominic's to worst places on Sundays.
Daria Martel Oh, the worst places aren't open. And even if they were, they daren't be seen going to them. Besides, James, you preach so splendidly that it's as good as a play for them. Why do you think the women are so enthusiastic?
Tom Amandes Candida!
Daria Martel Oh, I know, you dear silly, you think it's your socialism and your religion. But if it was that, they'd do what you tell them instead of only coming to look at you. They all have Prossy's complaint.
Daria Martel Yes, Prossy and all the other secretaries you've ever had. Why does Prossy condescend to wash up things and to peel potatoes and to abase herself in all manner of ways for six shillings a week less than she used to get in a city office. She's in love with you, James, that's the reason. They're all in love with you, and you are in love with preaching because you do it so beautifully. And you think it's all enthusiasm for the kingdom of heaven on earth and so do they. You dear silly.
Tom Amandes Me?
Tom Amandes Eugene.
Daria Martel Eugene's always right. He's a wonderful boy. I've grown fonder and fonder of him all the time I was away. Do you know, James, though he's not the least suspicion of it himself, he's ready to fall madly in love with me?"
Daria Martel Yes.
Daria Martel Yes.
Daria Martel Well, there's a wonderful scene to work on and we've been spending so much time just trying to get these, these two roads to go in opposite directions, to crisscross, to misunderstand, so that I'm heading one way and Morell is heading another and we don't seem to--
Nick Rudall There's this man who has clear thinking about all the social problems of the world but is able to see in front of his nose at what's happening to him. Yes. Absolutely. And Marchbanks is, do you think that Marchbanks fully understands Candida? That's one of the really complex and difficult issues in the play is how--Shaw always talks about how he sees the light and how he knows what truth is.
David New Yeah, but I think that by the end of the play he understands her better. So I don't think that from the outset he--he's young, I think. And, so, his understanding is a young understanding. By the end of the play he's older. And the understanding is there's more perspective.
Studs Terkel Funny thing about Marchbanks, 18; also because he's young. He has not enough of a facade to hide things, so he explodes. He's open. The inhibitions that are conditioned in this person grows older are less than him.
Daria Martel I think that's one of the things, actually, Candida finds interesting about Marchbanks is his--he's so ready for life and for expressing it and for love. And she can see that and she wants to be a positive part of that experience, and I think, too, maybe there's a part of her that wants to touch that again. Having made her choice and set up a wonderful household with Morell and all the work that's involved.
Studs Terkel Wait a minute. Something's happened to Candida, here, hasn't it? I mean, seemingly very happy and content, but at the same time Marchbanks' presence has aroused some hidden fire in Candida.
Tom Amandes I mean, I think that to a very strong degree Morell takes for granted the gifts that Candida gives him, and in fact he forgets that she is the reason that he's as strong as he is, you know, so when this young, gifted, yet needy person steps in there, all of a sudden there's an attraction.
Studs Terkel This fundamental truth offered by Tom just now. The need to be needed. Of course, the wind-up is poor old Morell is not that strange. The need to be needed is really an undercurrent to this whole thing, because that's what--another thing attracts you to Marchbanks.
Nick Rudall In fact, the title of the first volume of Michael Holroyd's biography is "In Search of Love", and Marchbanks has a wonderful little scene where he's explaining to Miss Proserpine what it is like to be shy and to know the truth and what is the, that little thing that he says to her about shy people? "We go"--
David New "And I find it in unmeasured stores in the bosoms of others, but when I try to ask for it, this horrible shyness strangles me and I stand dumb or worse than dumb saying meaningless things, foolish lies; and I see the affection I am longing for given to dogs and cats and pet birds because they come and ask for it."
Studs Terkel And it's at the Court Theatre, of Nick Rudall, Nick Rudall the director of it, and this play, too, "Candida", Daria Martel and Reverend Morell, her husband, Tom Amandes, and Marchbanks, young Marchbanks, David New, and it's at the Court Theatre, started September 27th and runs through October 28th.
Studs Terkel That's at 55th and Ellis. [pause in recording] Where we're listening to Candida and her two men, Reverend Morell, and who, by the way, both are very funny. One of them is complacy (sic), that is shattered, a guy's world is completely shattered, isn't it? Morell. And here's this young interloper, this seemingly weak young scion of a family eccentric and raggedy kid who has these thoughts and wildness in him. And Candida, who is just there. In a way. But being there is more than there, she's in the middle of it.
Studs Terkel It's funny. I know he was a great Ibsen man, a great Ibsen critic, defended him throughout. [Unintelligible] great Ibsen. In Ibsen, some of Ibsen's women, in the plays are [unintelligible] and she is, Candida is strong.
Nick Rudall Candida is a very strong woman, but in some sense Shaw in this play examines the ideals and idealism of the way one feels about love and the truth of the domesticity of love. So in some sense this play is the opposite of Nora in "Doll's House" Nora, the famous shutting of the door at the end, she leaves. In this play, the opposite happens. It's Marchbanks the poet who sees the truth about domesticity closes the door and leaves the two, the domestic couple, to stay at home because he sees--
Nick Rudall It's the reversal. So Shaw had a great deal of cynicism also about what marriage really was, that is that this extraordinary love affair, the potential love affair between Marchbanks and Candida and the love of her husband for her and her love for her husband is in fact survives only on a wonderfully domestic relationship, not--a mundane one, not in the heavens.
Nick Rudall Why don't you do the scene at the very end of the play before she actually makes her choice? By this time, the two men have now confronted each other for yet one more time in which they say to each other, yes, she's going to have to choose between us. And so as, you know, all well-written plays of the 19th century, you come to the third act and here is, who's going to win, who's going to be the stronger.
Daria Martel You don't know. Oh, James! James! I wonder, Eugene, do you understand? No. You are too young. Well, I give you leave to stay. To stay and learn. Now James, what's the matter? Come, tell me.
David New Don't.
Tom Amandes Well.
Daria Martel Well.
David New No! No, no, no, never! I did not, Mrs. Morell, it's not true! I said that I loved you and that he didn't, I said that I understood you and that he couldn't and it was not after what passed there before the fire that I spoke it. It was not on my word. It was this morning.
David New Yes.
David New No.
Tom Amandes Dancing before all the people, Candida, thinking he was moving their hearts with his mission when they were only suffering from Prossy's complaint. Oh, don't try to look indignant, Candida.
Daria Martel Try!
Tom Amandes Eugene was right! As you told me a few hours after, he is always right. He said nothing that you did not say far better yourself. He is the poet who sees everything. I am the poor parson who understands nothing.
Tom Amandes That foolish boy can speak with the inspiration of a child and the cunning of a serpent. He has claimed that you belong to him and not to me, and rightly or wrongly, I have come to fear that it may be true. I will not go about tortured with doubts and suspicions. I will not live with you and keep a secret from you. I will not suffer the intolerable degradation of jealousy. So, we have agreed. He and I. That you shall choose between us now. I wait your decision.
Daria Martel I mean that and a good deal more Master Eugene, as you will both find out presently. And pray, my lords and masters, what am I offered for my choice? It seems I am up for auction. What do you bid, James?
Tom Amandes I have nothing to offer you but my strength for your defense, my honesty of purpose for your surety, my ability and industry for your livelihood, and my authority and position for your dignity. That is all it becomes a man to offer to a woman.
Daria Martel Yeah, it's a curious one. I mean, she doesn't really belong to herself because as she defines herself it's as much taking care of him and being a part of this household, and--and it's, that's the one of the most difficult. That's what we were talking about earlier. That sense of, what does that mean?
Nick Rudall Well, yes, you're right because, in a sense, she is a woman but that has a freedom in her, and, thus, what is attractive to Marchbanks, and yet, at the same time, Shaw is quite aware that that freedom is grounded in making her husband master.
Daria Martel Yes.
Nick Rudall It's a peculiar, it's a peculiar thought. It reminds me in some sense like the ending of "The Taming of the Shrew" in some sense, it's this free spirit is in fact ultimately grounded in domesticity but while still having a great spirit.
Studs Terkel But what that poor Morell has, and we're going to--scene in which Morell is realizing his world, the world of his illusion, when he assumed that the real one he is strong and the shepherd of his flock and beloved of his wife, also her defender and strength. He's got nuttin'!
Nick Rudall Yes.
David New Well, I think that at the end of the play he makes the decision to live the life of an artist, and that's a solitary one in the world of this play. He rejects the domesticity and while he's been writing poetry up to this point you get the idea that he's going to go on now to a greater maturity in his art. So, I think that, while the end of the play is often seen as a negative, you know, when he's going out into the dark night and something horrible is going to happen. I actually think that it's a very positive choice that he's making to go out and leave the light inside of domesticity and be alone in the night.
Daria Martel Yeah. Candida says at one point at the end that he's learned to live without happiness, but I don't think she means in a bad way. He simply has learned what choices he needs to make to be an artist.
Nick Rudall That's true. I can't remember the quote exactly, but he said some extraordinarily powerful things about what it means to be an artist, including one line where he talks about if necessary an artist must use the milk of his mother's breast and turn it into ink just in order to be able to write.
Studs Terkel Anything.
Studs Terkel know about that. But that's interesting, the idea that, you see, [a day?] when it is a positive ending in a way, because we know this guy's not got--we, you know damn well Marchbanks is not going to kill himself, that you know.
Nick Rudall Strong in his language but he really is going into the night to be--recognizing that this form of happiness, this form of love, is one that he ultimately rejects. All the way through the play, the term "happiness" comes up all the time. Morell in his pomposity tells Marchbanks early on that he'll teach him how to be happy. Teach him how to be happy, but at the end Marchbanks discovers that that's not the kind of happiness he wants.
Daria Martel Right.
Nick Rudall That's right. Oh, absolutely. I'm playing the character of Burgess, who is Candida's father. One of the wonderful mysteries of the play also is that Burgess is a working-class man who's made it by real solid graft, that's a good Chicago man, and Candida--he is a Chicago man, he's always looking for ways to put the touch on politicians or the nobility, he's attracted to Marchbanks only for what he thinks he might be able to get since Marchbanks is the nephew of an earl and that, really--Burgess likes that.
Studs Terkel We're talking about the dimensions in "Candida", the Court Theatre, with one more round to go, the wind-up, and it's through October 28th, running at the Court Theatre, 55th and Ellis, and you know, it's a very good theatre.
Nick Rudall Well, since we were talking about Burgess the father although this, although he's not instrumental in the plot that we've looked at, we might have a look at some of the ideas that show puts in his head. In this scene at the beginning of the play, Burgess, Candida's father, has come back to talk to Morell, sensing, I think, that Morell is on his way up within the church and, therefore, might be just useful to him in his business and he's back for the first time after three years, hasn't seen his daughter for three years, but now he's back to make a buck or a pound in this case, and the scene begins this way, which is that Morell has just been putting a silk scarf around his assistant and Burgess says, "Spoiling your curates as usual, Jack? Good morning. When I pay a man and his living depends on me, I keep him in his place.
Tom Amandes I always keep my curates in their places as my helpers and comrades. You get as much work out of your clerks and warehousemen as I get out of my curates, you must be getting rich pretty fast. Will you take your own chair?
Nick Rudall Well, perhaps I did, but I meant no offense by it. A clergyman is privileged to be a bit of a fool, you know? It's only becoming in his profession that he should. Anyhow, I come here not to rake up old differences but to let bygones be bygones. James, three year ago, you done me a ill turn. You done me out of a contract. And when I gave you harsh words in my natural disappointment, you turned my daughter against me. Well, I've come to act the part of a Christian. I forgive you, James.
Tom Amandes No, it is not becoming language for a clergyman. I used the wrong word, I should have said, "Damn your impudence!" That's what St. Paul or any honest priest would have said to you. Do you think I have forgotten that tender of yours for the contract to supply clothing to the workhouse?
Tom Amandes Yes! The lowest. Because you paid worse wages than any other employer, starvation wage, worse than starvation wages, to the women who made the clothing. Your wages would have driven them to the street to keep body and soul together. Those women were my parishioners. I shamed the council out of accepting your tender. I shamed the taxpayers out of letting them do it, I shamed everybody except you! How dare you, sir, come here and offer to forgive me and talk about your daughter and how I--
Nick Rudall Yes. I've turned a model employer. I don't employ no women now. They're all sacked and the work is done by machinery. Not a man gets less than sixpence an hour. And the skilled hands gets the trade union rate. What have you to say to me
Tom Amandes now? Is it possible? Well, there's more joy in heaven over one sinner that repented. My dear Burgess, I most heartily beg your pardon for my harsh thoughts of you. Now, don't you feel the better for the change? Come, confess, you're happy. You look happier.
Nick Rudall Oh, yes. Yes. They go on to argue, in fact, that since I called him a fool early on and he called me a scoundrel, that the only terms that you can put it, Tom, the only terms you'll accept me on is that if I acknowledge that you are a fool and that I am a scoundrel, if I acknowledge that I can stay.
Studs Terkel There of course, is Reverend Morell socially, with a social conscience at work, you see. He's there, but he still can't figure that thing out domestically, can he? By the way, that's universal and that's been eternal with all--not saving, all those who scrap for a better world, because domestically you have these stories, and they're all personalized, incredible.
David New Absolutely.
Daria Martel He is, he's trying to define what a kingdom of heaven on earth would be like, and I think, in the end, he comes to the conclusion that it involves domesticity, making the best working relationship in your home so that you can be a good example.
Nick Rudall Right. But the irony of that, of course, is that they talk about the kingdom of heaven and of the metaphors that Marchbanks uses when he's talking about Candida is that she was an angel and that he was at the gates of paradise was in fact at the very end what Candida says to convince them both is that you have to keep the--what is it, you have to keep the tradesmen away--
Daria Martel Yes.
Tom Amandes Absolutely.
Daria Martel A lot of things. I mean, in many ways Candida also helps Marchbanks go into becoming an adult. But I'm still working on trying to understand the ways in which Candida goes and makes her choices and is clear about them.
Daria Martel Yes.
Studs Terkel Because his comments about the world were from the very beginning, pretty, you know, challenging authority and brutishness and inequality in this society. At the same time there was the impulsiveness of the young.
Nick Rudall Oh yes, and of course, at this time Shaw himself was working with the London County Council. He was a councillor. He was a lot of what he was a socialist, of course, at this time and an artist so there's a lot of Morell and a lot of Marchbanks have come from Shaw himself. He was working very hard at this time actually to make sure that women did not have to pay to go to the bathrooms in London, this was a cause that he was taking up, a very domestic cause.
Nick Rudall Why?
Tom Amandes Well, this has been a wonderful cast to work with, and just a very enjoyable and very rich experience in that every time we do the show, I think we find new layers and new little things, the relationships are so well-crafted that there's lots of material to mine here. I'm looking forward to getting in front of an audience, which we will be doing very shortly, very, very shortly, and adding that last element to the mix, because I think it's going to be a show that plays very well.
David New It's been a, as Tom said, thoroughly enjoyable process. Nick and I have worked on seeing Marchbanks as a visionary, but also as a child and, so, it's just been a ball combining those two things together.
Nick Rudall I think the great joy of this piece was discovering how human these people were. Much more human than any other Shavian play that I worked on. Their foibles combined with their strengths are just wonderful. And in that sense--in a very real sense it's, it has been in some sense like doing Ibsen, Shaw, and Chekhov all at once, because these people don't understand how they're operating, they're struggling very hard to understand how they're operating. And as I said before, it's really the only Shaw play about a love triangle that is about a love triangle, as opposed to a revolution or arms sales, or--
Tom Amandes God.
Nick Rudall Yes.