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Fanny's First Play

Bernard Shaw

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .TROTTER. [emphatically] I think I know the sort of entertainments you mean. But please do not beg a vital question by calling them plays. I dont pretend to be an authority; but I have at least established the fact that these productions, whatever else they may be, are certainly not plays.

FANNY. The authors dont say they are.

TROTTER. [warmly] I am aware that one author, who is, I blush to say, a personal friend of mine, resorts freely to the dastardly subterfuge of calling them conversations, discussions, and so forth, with the express object of evading criticism. But I'm not to be disarmed by such tricks. I say they are not plays. Dialogues, if you will. Exhibitions of character, perhaps: especially the character of the author. Fictions, possibly, though a little decent reticence as to introducing actual persons, and thus violating the sanctity of private life, might not be amiss. But plays, no. I say NO. Not plays. If you will not concede this po. . . Read More

Community Reviews

2.5

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this play, definitely a read that will help open minds about raising and controlling children.

"Fanny's First Play" was one of the most entertaining plays of George Bernard Shaw I've read to date. It features a framing device wherein Fanny, the young daughter of an aristocrat, has invited a group of prominent theater critics to watch a performance of her first attempt at a play and give their

A charming, light social comedy; a satire on suburban middle-class notions of respectability and morality presented as a play-within-a-play. Apparently this was written & rushed into rehearsal quickly as it had to take the stage early after a commercial flop by Ibsen ended its run prematurely. A lar

I had never heard of this satire by Shaw before. I did read the preface, which I normally skip or read afterwards, and am glad I did so as certain aspects of the play were much funnier knowing Shaw had published this play anonymously.

This play features a "play within the play". The 'inner' play is

Parts were enjoyable but Fanny's need to tell her father the truth seemed a more daunting task than it really was...like what was the big deal?

While the usual Shavian interventions into gender, class and family are there, though the device of a play within the play, of critics analyzing a play, Shaw also pokes fun at what he thinks people think of him.