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The Apple Cart

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  225 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
1930. Many of Shaw's early plays were either banned by the censor or refused production. He began the practice of writing the challenging, mocking, eloquent prefaces to his plays, which were sometimes longer than the play itself. In 1925 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. The Apple Cart is Shaw's comedic play in which the King defeats an attempt by his popularly ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published January 18th 1989 by Penguin Books (first published 1930)
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Jan 20, 2011 rated it liked it
At the end of this little-known play, the US tears up the Declaration of Independence and asks to be readmitted as a member of the British Empire - thus, as Shaw astutely points out, in effect annexing Britain by means of a constitutional coup.

Would it work in practice? Maybe someone who knows more about the legal issues can comment. There are plenty more cute ideas too. Shaw was clearly having fun when he wrote it.
Apr 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: britain, theatre
Actors love Shaw because he writes lines that are fun and "punchy." His characters have character, interesting quirks, edges - they are fully human. Even a minor play like "The Apple Cart" - which brims with the politics of Great Britain in the 1920s - is saturated with Shavian wit. Surely, if Shaw were alive today we would be sharing his brilliant epigrams and enjoying his latest satirical take on the contemporary political scene. Actually, many of his observations (in "The Apple Cart") from 85 ...more
Mark Mallett
Apr 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: play, satire, political, comedy
I was drawn to this by way of a story (a blog entry, really) of an open-source advocate who was attacked by a pair of people whose jobs depended on the tendency of certain proprietary systems to decay and malfunction; it was assured that there would be predictable demand for routine hands-on maintenance by expert repair personnel, and any alternative that did not have this problem was seen as a threat. The writer compared this to the parable of "Breakages, Limited" in Shaw's play "The Apple Cart ...more
Hassan Raza
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great play and a good read. I have a 1930 print by R & R Clark Limited Edinburgh !
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read it years ago.
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
When in heat of parliamentary debate a member is insulted for his race, he can point out much that is true - who is a native, and who is cultured, for instance.

A rational colleague may calmly point out that you are not white, but oatmeal at best. "Chinese call us Pinks; they flatter us". (In fact, the word in Chinese is not Pinks when they speak to other Chinese, it is "barbarian" or "foreign devil", when refering to race of European descent.)

A king might be tolerating a beautiful attractive m
May 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw the play on television and was so impressed I immediately wanted to buy the book. So the next day, during my lunch break, I sought out a bookshop near my office in the City of London. The place I found was tucked away in a corner down a cobbled side street and inside there were books from floor to ceiling and piled up on tables. But when I told the man what I was looking for he went straight to a hardback copy and brought it over to me. At £1.25 (1971 prices) I was already delighted with m ...more
Mugdha Mohan
Apr 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Written 100 years back. But so so relevant to timeless political establishment. Fell in love with the character King Magnus. One of the best things about these evergreen classics is they are written so fluid with such ingrained wisdom.

Though am happy with current crop of Indian English writers who are going easy on vocabulary and making it a comfortable read. Still its a long way to encompass such wit, truth and philosophy in easiest of instances quoted.

Eagerly looking for such writers in presen
Mike Jensen
Nov 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Based on my first reading, I was ready to give this play 5 stars, but it did not hold up as well a decade later. It is a sometimes very funny satire on democracy, political gamesmanship, governance, business having the real power, and the sort of people drawn to power and the powerful, but these wonderful parts do not add up to a whole. More than worthwhile, and by all means debate its ideas (some parallels with the US in 2009 are striking, some are not), but the play is not as sharp as Shaw tho ...more
Apr 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: plays
I never cease to be amazed by how contemporary Shaw's work feels or the intelligence and scope of the female characters. While this political meditation ended up feeling long to me, I love portions of it. And I am fanatical about the "Interlude" that bisects the first and second acts. It is a perfect 15 or so pages between the king and his mistress and it is just everything I want to see onstage (of course my current favorite audition piece is pulled from this section).
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George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright, socialist, and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama. Over the course of his life he wrote more than 60 plays. Nearly all his plays address prevailing social problems, but ...more
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“I never resist temptation because I have found that things that are bad for me do not tempt me.” 103 likes
“without good manners, human society would be intolerable and impossible” 6 likes
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