Arms and the Man (1986)

By George Bernard Shaw

Arms and the Man is a comedy, which takes place during the Serbo-Bulgarian war of 1885. Bernard Shaw won much critical acclaim for this work, which was brought to the Open Air Theatre in 1986 by David Conville. The production featured Sarah Woodward as Raina and the young actor, Richard (Hugh) Bonneville as an Officer. Bernard Bresslaw took on the role of Major Pretkoff and Diane Fletcher the role of Catherine Pretkoff.
Arms and the Man (1986)
Photo: Alastair Muir

The cast

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Daily Telegraph

"But quite the most warming figure on view is Bernard Bresslaw's Major Petkoff, a man whose lumbering flat-vowelled response to the realities of the world makes it difficult to understand how on earth the Bulgars gained victory on the battlefield. Sue Hodge is a diminutive bolshie little Balkan maid who suggests that those who are socially downstairs will soon be lording it on the upper floors."

Sunday Times

"David Conville's sprightly direction provided some lovely comic business whenever Shaw seemed in danger of getting bogged down in his own anti-romantic cleverness."

The Times

"David Conville's direction encourages Philip Bowen to carry the dashing Sergius almost over into burlesque...Leaning over backwards in elegance, his constant search for objects to place one foot upon reaches its comic climax when he thrusts his foot on to the fragile seat of a cane chair."