Overruledby George Bernard Shaw
Format of Original Source: Play
Recommended Adaptation Length: 90 Minutes
Candidate for Adaptation? Promising
Mr. Lunn has fallen in love with Mrs. Juno. Mr. Juno has fallen for Mrs. Lunn. But all the lovers still love their spouses too. This farce by Shaw takes a witty yet pointed look at love, morality, and monogamy.
MRS. LUNN. Poor man! How you must have suffered!
JUNO. No: that was what was so tame about it. I wanted to suffer. You get so sick of being happily married. It’s always the happy marriages that break up. At last my wife and I agreed that we ought to take a holiday.
MRS. LUNN. Hadn’t you holidays every year?
JUNO. Oh, the seaside and so on! That’s not what we meant. We meant a holiday from one another.
MRS. LUNN. How very odd!
JUNO. She said it was an excellent idea; that domestic felicity was making us perfectly idiotic; that she wanted a holiday, too. So we agreed to go round the world in opposite directions. I started for Suez on the day she sailed for New York.
MRS. LUNN [suddenly becoming attentive] That’s precisely what Gregory and I did. Now I wonder did he want a holiday from me! What he said was that he wanted the delight of meeting me after a long absence.
JUNO. Could anything be more romantic than that? Would anyone else than an Englishman have thought of it? I daresay my temperament seems tame to your boiling southern blood–
MRS. LUNN. My what!
JUNO. Your southern blood. Don’t you remember how you told me, that night in the saloon when I sang “Farewell and adieu to you dear Spanish ladies,” that you were by birth a lady of Spain? Your splendid Andalusian beauty speaks for itself.
MRS. LUNN. Stuff! I was born in Gibraltar. My father was Captain Jenkins. In the artillery.
JUNO [ardently] It is climate and not race that determines the temperament. The fiery sun of Spain blazed on your cradle; and it rocked to the roar of British cannon.
MRS. LUNN. What eloquence! It reminds me of my husband when he was in love before we were married. Are you in love?
JUNO. Yes; and with the same woman.
MRS. LUNN. Well, of course, I didn’t suppose you were in love with two women.
JUNO. I don’t think you quite understand. I meant that I am in love with you.
MRS. LUNN [relapsing into deepest boredom] Oh, that!
Cast of four; one act play. There’s a sweet melancholy at its heart (whiffs of Shaw’s “Heartbreak House”), and some classic Shavian repartee. Ultimately the issues surrounding this one act are rather antiquated, but perhaps you can make that be its charm rather than its lodestone. Solos, duets and quartets fairly scream off the page…but is there enough plot and action to keep an audience interested? NMI mildly recommends this play for adaptation, with reservations.
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