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30 review for The Apple Cart: A Political Extravaganza

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kenny

    #5 of my 2018 Shaw Project Shaw’s “The Apple Cart” of 1929 combines political satire and futuristic visions and is still amazingly topical and accurate in its predictions. As a comedy of ideas, this play is not for everyone. It is one of Shaw's more unusual works. As Shaw makes clear from every possible angle, although everyone may hold to the notion that democracy is good and right, the true power even self-proclaimed democracies is not arrived at or wielded democratically. The discussions of ma #5 of my 2018 Shaw Project Shaw’s “The Apple Cart” of 1929 combines political satire and futuristic visions and is still amazingly topical and accurate in its predictions. As a comedy of ideas, this play is not for everyone. It is one of Shaw's more unusual works. As Shaw makes clear from every possible angle, although everyone may hold to the notion that democracy is good and right, the true power even self-proclaimed democracies is not arrived at or wielded democratically. The discussions of manufacturing in Third World countries to save labor costs at home, of what we now call the globalization of trade and culture and of the media becoming more entertainment than information makes you wonder again and again how, if Shaw saw this happening in 1929.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Manny

    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.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Yooperprof

    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 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 years ago are strikingly relevant today. "Got help England if she had no Scots to think for her." "It is not the most ignorant national crowd that will come out on top, but the best power station; for you can't do without power stations, and you can't run them on patriotic songs and hatred of the foreigner, and guff and bugaboo, though you can run nationalism on nothing else." "All the talent and genius of the country is bought up by the flood of unearned money. On that poisoned wealth talent and genius live far more luxuriously in the service of the rich than we in the service of our country. Politics, once the center of attraction for ability, public spirit, and ambition, has now become the refuge of a few fanciers of public speaking and party intrigue who find all the other avenues of distinction closed to them either by their lack of practical ability, their comparative poverty and lack of education, or, let me hasten to add, their hatred of oppression and injustice, and their contempt for the chicaneries and false pretenses of commercialized professionalism."

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ahmet Toköz

    Shaw’ın mesajı bugün için çok da anlamlı gelmiyor...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mark Mallett

    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 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" - i.e., this play. Breakages, Limited, is a company whose existence also depends on cleaning up after things that break, and which is threatened by improvements in quality or by anything that lessens the frequency of breakage. The success of Breakages, Limited gives it massive political power. Breakages, Limited is only a minor element in this play. The play is an exposition of some of Shaw's thoughts on political structure and the dynamics of one political power structure vs another -- including the political power of capitalist entities. It's framed as a comedy, and it flows quickly and easily and gives a lot to think about. One such meta-thought is about how silly it is to think that so many ways we look at the world are new. As with some (or all?) of the Shaw plays I've read (not that I've read all that many, just a handful), this one has a lengthy introduction - probably longer than the play itself - with deep explanations about the content of the play and the thoughts behind and around it. Ditto with epilogue material, tho not so lengthy. These surrounding notes are somewhat repetitive but nevertheless fascinating. I read this, BTW, online, courtesy of Project Gutenberg.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jorge Camacho

    El carro de las manzanas (The apple cart) de George Bernard Shaw. Una reflexión sobre la monarquía y la república, escrita en torno a 1920... pero que en mi opinión no funciona como obra de teatro. Al llegar a la página 40 de las 100 de la obra (no cuento aquí las otras 33 del prefacio del autor) estaba tan aburrido que lo he tenido que dejar (bueno, he pasado la vista rápidamente por encima de lo que me quedaba por leer hasta el final). Demasiada palabra (con algún parlamento de dos y hasta de cu El carro de las manzanas (The apple cart) de George Bernard Shaw. Una reflexión sobre la monarquía y la república, escrita en torno a 1920... pero que en mi opinión no funciona como obra de teatro. Al llegar a la página 40 de las 100 de la obra (no cuento aquí las otras 33 del prefacio del autor) estaba tan aburrido que lo he tenido que dejar (bueno, he pasado la vista rápidamente por encima de lo que me quedaba por leer hasta el final). Demasiada palabra (con algún parlamento de dos y hasta de cuatro páginas del tirón) y casi nada de acción. Bla bla bla en estado puro. El propio prefacio ya se me hizo pesado, no ha envejecido bien durante este último siglo... Teatro político del bueno, en mi opinión de lo mejor que he visto representado en España en mucho tiempo, es esto: https://es.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleja...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Owain

    I'm not usually one for reading plays. This book did nothing but confirm my previously held prejudice. Having said that it's the first book I've read in a while that pre-dates ISBNs and it's slowly antiquing pages smell delicious and full of vanillin and other nice polyphenols. The content is mediocre and suffers from being dated - I daresay a good job could be made of modernising it for a modern audience as the issues it addresses are still with us and I think its discourse on democracy could be I'm not usually one for reading plays. This book did nothing but confirm my previously held prejudice. Having said that it's the first book I've read in a while that pre-dates ISBNs and it's slowly antiquing pages smell delicious and full of vanillin and other nice polyphenols. The content is mediocre and suffers from being dated - I daresay a good job could be made of modernising it for a modern audience as the issues it addresses are still with us and I think its discourse on democracy could be expanded a great deal in the age of Big Tech and Social Media.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Hassan Raza

    A great play and a good read. I have a 1930 print by R & R Clark Limited Edinburgh !

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sherlock

    Read it years ago.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Pritam Chattopadhyay

    The narrative is set in the palace of King Magnus of England in the final quarter of the twentieth century. Paucity and dearth in England has been absolutely eradicated. Every citizen is privy to a life of comfort. Yet all is not well with the world. The Cabinet is in rebellion against the King who has been making speeches displaying fortitude of autonomy which the Cabinet cannot allocate to the constitutional monarch. The King has been critical of the government and expressing his personal opin The narrative is set in the palace of King Magnus of England in the final quarter of the twentieth century. Paucity and dearth in England has been absolutely eradicated. Every citizen is privy to a life of comfort. Yet all is not well with the world. The Cabinet is in rebellion against the King who has been making speeches displaying fortitude of autonomy which the Cabinet cannot allocate to the constitutional monarch. The King has been critical of the government and expressing his personal opinions. The Cabinet warns him against making any more such speeches and calls upon him to capitulate the royal veto. He asks for a few hours in which to mull over the matter. He then spends the afternoon with his mistress, Orinthia. Then the King meets the Cabinet again. Before this meeting, the King has received the American Ambassador who brings the essential information that the United States has decided to cancel the ‘Declaration of Independence’ and rejoin the British Empire. The Cabinet wants to know the King’s reply to their challenge. His reply is that he intends to relinquish. They are startled to hear this reply but they accept his decision. Thereafter, comes another surprise for the Cabinet. The King tells them that he proposes to penetrate the arena of politics as a private citizen and to stand as an aspirant for Parliament at the forthcoming General Elections. That, truly, is the upsetting of the apple cart. The Cabinet cannot authorize him to stand for the election because there is likelihood that, if he is elected and heads the mainstream party In the House of Commons, he would become the Prime Minister and would rule the country in his own way. The Cabinet therefore withdraws their ultimatum, and things remain they were. The American offer to rejoin the British Empire is just ignored. The conflict in this play is between the virtue of Magnus and the lack of foresight of the Cabinet. The solution at the end of the play, which leaves things as they were at the beginning, is the solution which the British constitutional system provided centuries ago for its political problems and has maintained since: namely, a balance of power between an elected Parliament and a monarch who always has in reserve the right to withhold consent to any actor proposal which is unwise or dangerous from the point of view of public welfare, or which is arbitrary or ill-advised. It is this system of check and counter cheek which the play maintains. The Apple Cart was Shaw’s last major play; and it is political in character just as Saint Joan was religious.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Haoyan Do

    I don't really understand this play, but I like the arguments in the parliament and it's very interesting to see people argue with supposedly good manners. "I do many things to please you that I should never do to please myself." "Nothing ever happens in the cabinet." I don't really understand this play, but I like the arguments in the parliament and it's very interesting to see people argue with supposedly good manners. "I do many things to please you that I should never do to please myself." "Nothing ever happens in the cabinet."

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dr.J.G.

    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 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 mistress and far more at ease with the wife he is comfortable with. When a popular monarch is persuaded to abolish monarchy it is just possible the monarch might stand for office and have all on office thouroughly routed. Just a few of the gems from the play. Delightful as most work from the writer, and one of the most delightful at that. Monday, September 22, 2008. ................................................................ ................................................................

  13. 4 out of 5

    BLRBrazil

    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 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 my purchase, but when I got home and looked at it more closely I discovered it was a 1st edition. I treasure the memory of that delightful bookshop and its impressively efficient bookseller to this day!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mugdha Mohan

    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 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 present times, who can write so timeless as Sir GB Shaw.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michael P.

    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 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 thought it was.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    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). 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).

  17. 4 out of 5

    Molly

    Read this quite a while ago and thoroughly enjoyed, but had come back in light of the recent political situation here in the UK. I think that the role of Proteus as a prime minister attempting to remove the monarchy's remaining influence resonates quite well with Boris Johnson and Q.E. Not sure if Lizzy could be compared with King Magnus though, slightly different characters... Read this quite a while ago and thoroughly enjoyed, but had come back in light of the recent political situation here in the UK. I think that the role of Proteus as a prime minister attempting to remove the monarchy's remaining influence resonates quite well with Boris Johnson and Q.E. Not sure if Lizzy could be compared with King Magnus though, slightly different characters...

  18. 5 out of 5

    Laila

    Okudugum en zekice kurgulanmis eserlerden biriydi. Gunumuz siyasi arenasinda olan seyleri o zamandan betimlemis diyebilecegimiz kitapta Kral Magnus karakterinin keskin zekasi cogu zaman gulumsetti. Bir gecede zevkle okuduklarimdandi... Okuyani pisman etmeyecek kitaplardan.

  19. 4 out of 5

    محمد عبادة

    I deem it to be a masterpiece of the Royalist Bernard Shaw! Of course I need to re-read it!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    Shaw, George Bernard The Complete Bernard Shaw Plays In compilation only.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Poornima Jha

    old fashioned play. not much happens except power play in a room.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Carol Waters

    Well, that explains a lot, actually. And it's funny. Well, that explains a lot, actually. And it's funny.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Purvi Petal

    A cute drama worth an hour or two's read, nothing more, but enjoyable. :) A cute drama worth an hour or two's read, nothing more, but enjoyable. :)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Russell

    His best play

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shubham Sharma

    Superb Work by G.B.S.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Eugene booker

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rohan AnanthaKrishna

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Hutchins

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stella

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lakshmi Yendapalli

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