A Paper-Thin Romance

Ellen Terry, photographed by Julia Margaret Cameron

For the LSA’s opening live performance, we will be reading some love letters.

I wish this ink were blacker and my writing bolder. If you have a magnifying glass it will all come out beautifully legible.

A letter is a funny thing. It could allow one of the best respected actors of her day and a playwright and critic who was fast becoming infamous, a chance to open up to one another unbeknownst to the world around them. Intimate and distant; well thought out yet urgent; varyingly tender and professional and brutally honest. Bernard Shaw and Ellen Terry met on only a handful of occasions so as not to taint their paper courtship.

Compiled and directed by Duncan Molloy, drawing from over thirty years of correspondence, this is a delicate love-story, a lasting friendship, a romance worthy of the paper it was written on.

She became a legend in her old age; but of that I have nothing to say; for we did not meet, and, except for a few broken letters, did not write, and she was never old to me.

This will be a one-off performance in the Visual Centre for Contemporary Art, Carlow on Friday, July 2 at 6.45pm as part of the George Bernard Shaw Summer School & Festival.

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