Friday, September 16, 2016

Mrs. Warren's Profession

Mrs. Warren’s Profession is being produced at the Lantern Theatre in the St. Stephen’s Church, 10th and Ludlow Streets, through October 9, 2016.  Written by George Bernard Shaw in 1893, Mrs. Warren’s Profession explores challenging themes including the plight of the working poor and many are just as relevant today as they were in Victorian England. Shaw’s play pits multiple-Barrymore-Award-Winner Mary Martello as Mrs. Warren against newcomer Claire Inie-Richards as her daughter Vivie Warren. David Bardeen, Andrew Criss, Daniel Fredrick and John Lopez, all connected to Mrs. Warren in some manner or another, complete the ensemble cast. The four act play changes locations thanks to imaginative work of scenic designer Dirk Durossette. Backdrops turn around, benches are added, “shrubs” are pulled away and book cases reveal an inside interior as a chandelier is lowered. As in many works that have stood the test of time, each act builds in intensity.  Mrs. Mary Martello’s flamboyant portrayal of Mrs. Warren’s success and Claire Inie-Richards’ strong, firm portrayal of a “modern” woman’s success are the focus of the first few acts, along with the interactions of the men in their lives. Vivie has finally come to terms with the fact that prostitution paid for her college education because her mother had no alternative way to make a living wage. When she discovers her mother is still “in the life” the real theatre begins. It is Act 4 that not only shows George Bernard’s Shaw’s brilliance in the writing of this Victorian masterpiece, but also the depth of the emotional wells of Mary Martello and Claire Inie-Richards. The dialogue between the two of them is the most dramatic part of the entire piece, but the facial expressions displayed by Vivian when interacting with her mother are priceless. Although once banned on moral grounds, this is undoubtedly one of Shaw’s best works. For more information or tickets, call 215-829-0395, visit online at or visit the Lantern Box Office, 10th & Ludlow Sts, Philadelphia, Pa. 19107. 

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