Review: Mrs Warren's Profession

By John Nathan, April 1, 2010

Comedy Theatre, London SW1

Surely the whole point of reviving Bernard Shaw's 1894 play, in which an educated young woman discovers that the money with which her mother paid for it all was earned from the oldest profession, is to expose the moral hypocrisy of the not just the 19th century, but the 21st century too.

But not even Felicity Kendal can prevent this revival from feeling more like an exhumation. There is life in the exchanges between Kendal as the madame matriarch and Lucy Briggs-Owen's as her virtuous daughter Vivie, but only to the extent that they give you a sense of what you are missing. Michael Rudman's dusty production isn't helped by Paul Farnsworth's part expressionistic and part-chintz design. (

Last updated: 10:23am, April 1 2010