Major Barbara

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WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

Set in London in 1905 during the height of British military and industrial might, this comedy reveals the conflict between power and poverty. The play begins as Lady Britomart Undershaft reaches out to her estranged husband, a highly successful arms manufacturer, for financial support. Andrew Undershaft is first and foremost a businessman, who profits handsomely from the bloodshed his products cause. By comparison his eldest daughter, Barbara, is a committed evangelist who runs a shelter in London's inner city. When her Father offers to help fund the struggling mission, Barbara, who is already a Major in the Salvation Army and engaged to Greek Scholar Adolphus Cusins by the time of the play, is forced to re-evaluate her own outlook on wealth and charity, to the point of questioning her own faith. Major Barbara is a woman on a mission to save the poor of society using charity and servitude, but this reunion with her arms-manufacturing, millionaire father who believes that charity serves only to keep the poor in their place, threatens to shake the foundations of her beliefs.