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Captain Brassbound’s Conversion

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Captain Brassbound’s Conversion

by George Bernard Shaw

Genre: Comedy
Format of Original Source: Play
Recommended Adaptation Length:

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Likely


A smuggler is on trial in the (rather lawless) country of Morocco. An extraordinary woman comes to his defense, figuratively and literally.

An excerpt:BRASSBOUND (sulkily). You twist my words very cleverly. But no man or woman has ever changed me.

LADY CICELY. Dear me! That must be very nice for the people you deal with, because they can always depend on you; but isn’t it rather inconvenient for yourself when you change your mind?

BRASSBOUND. I never change my mind.

LADY CICELY (rising with the coat in her hands). Oh! Oh!! Nothing will ever persuade me that you are as pigheaded as that.

BRASSBOUND (offended). Pigheaded!

LADY CICELY (with quick, caressing apology). No, no, no. I didn’t mean that. Firm! Unalterable! Resolute! Ironwilled! Stonewall Jackson! That’s the idea, isn’t it?

BRASSBOUND (hopelessly). You are laughing at me.

LADY CICELY. No: trembling, I assure you. Now will you try this on for me: I’m SO afraid I have made it too tight under the arm. (She holds it behind him.)

BRASSBOUND (obeying mechanically). You take me for a fool I think. (He misses the sleeve.)

LADY CICELY. No: all men look foolish when they are feeling for their sleeves.

BRASSBOUND. Agh! (He turns and snatches the coat from her; then puts it on himself and buttons the lowest button.)

LADY CICELY (horrified). Stop. No. You must NEVER pull a coat at the skirts, Captain Brassbound: it spoils the sit of it. Allow me.


Not a very interesting play, filled with really really difficult-to-read ACCENTS. Not a very promising premise for a musical, although the woman character is one of Shaw’s strongest, and the stakes for the smuggler are high, so with some manipulating, the material might be willed into the shape of a musical.


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