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Androcles and the Lion

An Old Fable Renovated


  • Playwright

    George Bernard (GB) Shaw 

  • Setting

    Rome, some time after the death of Christ.

  • Synopsis

    "In this play I have represented one of the Roman persecutions of the early Christians, not as the conflict of a false theology with the true, but, as what all such persecutions essentially are, an attempt to suppress the propaganda that seemed to threaten the interests involved in the established law and order, organized and maintained in the name of religion and justice by politicians." (Preface, 1912) Shaws's retelling of the well-known tale of Androcles, a slave who is saved by the mercy of a lion.

  • Play Type

    Plays General

    Number Of Acts


  • Cast Size Male


  • Cast Size Female


Original Production

  • Date of First Production

    01 September 1913

  • Production Notes

    'Androcles and the Lion' was first performed, in German, at the Kleines Theater in Berlin on the 25th of November 1912. The listing here refers to the play's first English-language performance.
  • Producer

  • Original Venue

  • Venue Notes

    First presented in English at St James' Theatre, London.

Original Cast  
Megaera Clare Greet
Menagerie Keeper Balliol Holloway
Retiarius J.B. Turnbull
Secutor Allan Jeayes
Call Boy Neville Gartside
Editor Herbert Hewetson
Centurion H.O. Nicholson
Spintho J.F. Outram
Ferrovius Alfred Brydone
Metellus Hesketh Pearson
Lion Edward Sillward
Emperor Leon Quartermaine
Androcles O.P. Heggie
Lentulus Donald Calthrop
Lavinia Lillah McCarthy
Captain Ben Webster
Slave Driver Ralph Hutton
Production Team  
Director Harley Granville-Barker

Published Scripts

Rights Information

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