LD011 Play Reading: Great Catherine, by George Bernard Shaw

  • 01 Dec 2023
  • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
  • To Be Determined
  • 1


  • Course attendee

Registration is closed
This month's play is George Bernard Shaw's 1913 work, "Great Catherine," a comical depiction of Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, and her interactions with a naive English captain named Charles Edstaston.

The play is set in 18th century Russia and revolves around the cultural clash between the straightforward, idealistic Edstaston and the complex, pragmatic world of the Russian court. Catherine is portrayed as a strong, intelligent, and somewhat capricious ruler, with the narrative exploring themes of power, sexuality, and political intrigue.

Shaw's characteristic wit and satirical style are evident throughout the play, as he uses humor to critique and comment on the societal norms of both Russia and the West. The interactions between Catherine and Edstaston serve to highlight the vast differences in their worldviews and the absurdities inherent in their respective societies.

"Great Catherine" is often noted for its historical inaccuracies, as Shaw takes considerable creative liberties with the characters and setting. However, these deviations are intentional, serving to enhance the play's comedic and satirical elements. The play is more an exploration of Shaw's contemporary social and political ideas than a historical account of Catherine's reign.

Good to know: 

  • WICE members can register for this event online using WICE's fast and secure online system. Simply click on the link and follow directions.
  • Not a member? You may be able to join some events as a nonmember for a small fee which includes a 3-month membership. Please send an email to wice@wice-paris.org if you have questions. We look forward to talking with you.