Bernard Shaw Invites You!

If all great truths begin as blasphemies then George Bernard Shaw was undoubtedly the most blasphemous man of his age. In this captivating one-man show, Dublin-born Paddy O’Keefe brings to life the words and works of Socialism’s greatest behemoth, without forgetting to show us a glimpse of his humanity.

O’Keefe delivers a rallying call to action which cannot be ignored, and I left the Redroaster’s cosy embrace thinking: ‘Come on Brighton! Let’s shake things up, Shaw style!’

Shaw, a self-declared genius, is a character ripe for the stage. Playwright, critic, fearsome vegetarian and Irish republican, he is a figure who has provoked and inspired audiences for well over a century. And this show certainly does justice to a man of many talents and few friends. His laconic wit is showcased in a script crafted with carefully interwoven quotes and quips, skilfully delivered by a playful O’Keefe. Dissatisfied with a roll call of credits, O’Keefe wants to show us the real Bernard Shaw. And that’s when this show gets interesting.

Delving into Shaw’s peculiar childhood (he was raised by three fathers and an emotionally unavailable mother) the script turns an unflinching gaze on Shaw’s inner life. O’Keefe is at his most magnetic when holding court on the most heartfelt of Shaw’s themes: politics, love and the theatre. Strolling the stage, straw hat in hand, the actor glows as if imbued with Shaw’s stubborn, vulnerable brilliance.

The show begins to lag, however, when the subject matter turns from Shaw’s passions to a string of anecdotes about the leading lights of the early 20th century. After a few witty quips from Wilde, Wells and Webb this name-dropping becomes tedious and interrupts an otherwise engaging show. At 90 minutes, the show is also a little too long, despite the comfortable environs of Redroaster Coffee House.

When O’Keefe bowed himself off the stage to rapturous applause, my Fringe companion leant over to me and commented with a twinkle in her eye: ‘Well, he certainly seems to like this Shaw character.’ And it is this very fascination which keeps the show from the mire of indulgence into which it might easily have fallen. O’Keefe delivers a rallying call to action which cannot be ignored, and I left the Redroaster’s cosy embrace thinking: ‘Come on Brighton! Let’s shake things up, Shaw style!’

Reviews by Rowan Dent

Brighton Spiegeltent

Imaginary Worlds

The Warren: Main House

Fringe Club

Brighton and Sussex Medical School

The Romantic Disease: Art and TB

Redroaster Coffee House

Bernard Shaw Invites You!


Pranks and Mischief


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

This award-winning show returns to Brighton after a successful tour in India. Join us to explore the life, loves and politics of one of the most important writers and thinkers in the English language. Shaw's witty trenchant opinions on poverty, inequality, capitalism, class and sex were hugely influential during his lifetime and are remarkably relevant to our world today!

Most Popular See More

Grease the Musical

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets