Bashville (1983)

Adapted by David William and Benny Green from the play The Admirable Bashville by George Bernard Shaw;
Music by Denis King. Lyrics by Benny Green

Leaving George Bernard Shaw's play, The Admirable Bashville, almost intact, Denis King and Benny Green added satirical songs and musical numbers. Not only was this the first musical to be performed at the Open Air Theatre, it was the first time that Bashville had been staged. Under the direction of David William, its success in 1983 led to a return the following season and an Olivier award nomination.

The cast

Creative team

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Daily Telegraph

"charming, elegant, stylish and with a layer of wit to add to Shaw's own joke about Elizabethan playwrights as well as blank verse." "an evening of tuneful parody, staged by David William with just the right amount of tongue-in-cheek solemnity and acted at a level of burlesque seldom encountered beyond the Players Theatre."

The Times

"this jaunty musical had found its right home in the Open Air Theatre. It has been proved over the years that the shows that thrive best at this address are those that defy the pastoral environment, and Bashville defies it with a vengeance."

Time Out

"Bashville is an escapist's dream, a midsummer night's delicacy wittly adapted by Benny Green from an obscure Bernard Shaw play and laced with pretty music (courtesy of Denis King) which is performed with contagious exuberance by an orchestra decked out in straw boaters on a flower-fringed bandstand."