The Truth About Pygmalion Author:Richard Huggett In 1914 G.B. Shaw, Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree and the glamorous actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell were all at the height of their fame, and when they decided to do the first production of Pygmalion together, a collision w2as inevitable. There were three of the most outrageous egotists the theater has ever produced; individually they were difficult, t... more »ogether they were disastrous: egos clashed; they skulked, delayed, raged at each other; and were, above all, brilliantly insulting. The stories and rumors that circulated about them were devastating, but a true account of their sophisticated madness was never recorded.
Year later, in 1938, George Bernard Shaw wrote one of his last letters to Mrs. Pat, who was then living alone, penniless, in Paris, and he advised: "I will tell you how to earn some money. Write the true story of Pygmalion and you will make the whole of England and America laugh uproariously, mostly at me...but mind! The dismal sting of lies in your last letter was not worth twopence, it must be the utter grotesque truth."
Mrs. Pat never wrote the story herself and she died in poverty; but Richard Huggett, the British playwright anbd actor, has drawn upon the letters, diaries, press reports and reminiscences of the surviving members of the original company and had reconstructed the scene. His wonderfully entertaining account of the wit, the temperaments and the scandals of this collaboration has fulfilled Shaw's forecast. Rich in anecdote and highly entertaining. The Truth About Pygmalion is also a fascinating picture of the golden age of Edwardian theater.« less