At the turn of the 20th century, George Bernard Shaw was establishing his place among the world’s greatest playwrights. One of the actresses in the London theatre at the time was a woman whose career would last for decades and would intersect with Shaw’s in a way that would change them both. Mrs. Patrick Campbell had achieved fame and artistic success in the 1890s, and Shaw knew she could do wonders with his plays. Eventually the chastely married GBS became infatuated with her, an infatuation she did little to discourage. As he by turns desired her and was frustrated by her, they kept up a correspondence worthy of two great wits, and Mrs. Pat was able to maintain the relationship long enough for Shaw to write one of his best roles for her– Eliza Doolittle. In the 1950s, actor Jerome Kilty adapted their letters, and their extraordinary up-and-down friendship, into the play Dear Liar, a huge hit in London and New York. Mrs. Pat is not well-remembered now, so it gives us great pleasure to reintroduce her to our audience and to give you a glimpse of an infatuated Shaw.

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