The Apple Cart


The Apple Cart

"The Apple Cart": "A Political Extravaganza" is a 1929 play by George Bernard Shaw. Though it offers some laughs, the play is primarily a reflection on a number of political philosophies and characters who frequently deliver lengthy speeches defending their views. It follows the fictional King Magnus and his mistress Orinthia as they match wits with a Prime Minister, Proteus, who seeks to strip the monarchy of its remaining political powers. As Shaw puts it succinctly in the Preface it is "a comedy in which a King defeats an attempt by his popularly elected Prime Minister to deprive him of the right to influence public opinion through the press and the platform: in short, to reduce him to a cipher. The King's reply is that rather than be a cipher he will abandon his throne and take his obviously very rosy chance of becoming a popularly elected Prime Minister himself."

Characters

*Sempronius "Civil Servant"
*Pamphilius "Civil Servant"
*Boanerges" President of the Board of Trade"
*King Magnus"
*Orinthia" King's Mistress"
*Alice" Princess Royal"
*Proteus" Prime Minister"
*Pliny" Chancellor of the Exchequer"
*Nicobar" Foreign Secretary"
*Crassus" Colonial Secretary"
*Balbus" Home Secretary"
*Amanda" Postmistress General"
*Lysistrata" Powermistress General"
*Vanhattan" American Ambassador"
*The Queen

*Entire text of the play, including a lengthy Preface and articles relating to the play can be found at http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks03/0300431h.html


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