First Night in the Stalls
Dame Laura Knight (Long Eaton, Derbyshire 1877 – St. John’s Wood 1970)
This picture, painted by Shaw's close friend and fellow attendee of the Malvern Festival, Dame Laura Knight, is a fabulous evocation of Shaw's other life, away from Shaw's Corner, in the theatre. The curtain is just about to go up, to allow this glittering, glamorous audience to enjoy the first night of a new play (one of Shaw's perhaps?).
Pencil and wash on paper, First Night in the Stalls, by Dame Laura Knight (Long Eaton, Derbyshire 1877 – St. John’s Wood 1970) The first two rows curve across the picture, the men in white tie and tails, the women in silk dresses and pearls. Many seen in profile looking at the stage, at their neighbour or with vacant boredom. Towards the back the figures become indistinct and are only suggested by a few wash lines.
Bequeathed by George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)
Shaw’s Corner, The George Bernard Shaw Collection (National Trust)
Marks and inscriptions
(Paper label on back from Deighton's Strand Gallery)
Makers and roles
Dame Laura Knight (Long Eaton, Derbyshire 1877 – St. John’s Wood 1970) , artist