This month’s selection from New York’s fall buffet: an old Irish play, a new Irish play, an old English play, and three new American plays.

Shaw was eighty when, in 1936, he started writing Geneva, a sort of morality play in which representatives of political forces of the time are summoned by the League of Nations’ International Committee for Intellectual Co-operation, which was itself located in Geneva, to the Hague to be submitted to the scrutiny of a Judge of the Court of International Justice. Geneva was to go through at least eight versions, one as late as 1945, as Shaw scrambled to keep it timely and politically correct. It was staged first in 1938 in Warsaw, then in London in 1938 and in New York in 1940. It was widely received as an embarrassing failure, and so it is, but the modes of its badness are curious enough to merit the recent revival at the...


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