Culture at the Cinema: Man and Superman

Jack Tanner (Ralph Fiennes) with Ann Whitefield (Indira Varma). - Photo: Johan Persson

It seems like the perfect coincidence to have the National Theatre’s production of George Bernard Shaw’s “Man and Superman” up next on Culture at the Cinema’s list as “Batman v Superman” is about ready to leave the screen. Just don’t expect Wonder Woman to be appearing on stage in the former anytime soon.

Academy Award nominee Ralph Fiennes (“The English Patient,” “Schindler’s List,” “Oedipus” at the National Theatre) plays Jack Tanner in this exhilarating reinvention of Shaw’s witty, provocative classic.

Mendoza (Tim McMullan) welcomes Jack Tanner (Ralph Fiennes) to his desert.
Mendoza (Tim McMullan) welcomes Jack Tanner (Ralph Fiennes) to his desert.


Jack Tanner, celebrated radical thinker and rich bachelor, seems an unlikely choice as guardian to the alluring heiress, Ann. But she takes it in her assured stride and, despite the love of a poet, she decides to marry and tame this dazzling revolutionary.

Tanner, appalled by the whiff of domesticity, is tipped off by his chauffeur and flees to Spain, where he is captured by bandits and meets The Devil. An extraordinary dream-debate, heaven versus hell, ensues. Following in hot pursuit, Ann is there when Tanner awakes, as fierce in her certainty as he is in his.

A romantic comedy, an epic fairy tale, a fiery philosophical debate, “Man and Superman” asks fundamental questions about how we live.

Ralph Fiennes and director Simon Godwin
Ralph Fiennes and director Simon Godwin


According to Wikipedia, “‘Man and Superman’ is a four-act drama written by George Bernard Shaw in 1903. The series was written in response to calls for Shaw to write a play based on the Don Juan theme. ‘Man and Superman’ opened at The Royal Court Theatre in London on May 23, 1905, but omitted the third act. A part of the act, Don Juan in Hell (Act 3, Scene 2), was performed when the drama was staged on June 4, 1907 at the Royal Court. The play was not performed in its entirety until 1915, when the Travelling Repertory Company played it at the Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh.”

Culture at the Cinema brings George Bernard Shaw's tale to the big screen.
Culture at the Cinema brings George Bernard Shaw’s tale to the big screen.


“Out of this world. Ralph Fiennes flies high as Bernard Shaw’s Superman.” – Metro
“Dazzling. Ralph Fiennes proves his star status. Indira Varma is a triumph.” – The Times

“Simon Godwin mischievously blows the dust off the period trappings. The work’s intellectual energy and comic zest are infectious.” – Daily Telegraph

“Astonishing. A masterly performance from Ralph Fiennes, Tim McMullan is supremely funny.” – Guardian

“Ralph Fiennes fizzes in Bernard Shaw’s masterpiece.” – Evening Standard

“Christopher Oram uses his great skill as a designer to melt one vision into another.” – Observer

Tickets are $40 each and include a glass of sparkling wine. They can be purchased at the Regal Camana Bay Box Office. See for upcoming shows.