In 2007 THE MADRAS HOUSE was seen by New York audiences for the first time since 1921. The production continued Mint’s work in championing Harley Granville Barker’s neglected drama in the U.S., after producing the American Premiere of THE VOYSEY INHERITANCE, in 1999

A pioneering actor/director/playwright who helped revolutionize modern theatre, Granville Barker wrote scintillating plays of ideas that sparkle with as much heart as wit. His 1909 masterpiece, THE MADRAS HOUSE dazzles with ideas on men, women, sex, shopping, marriage, children, arts and education. Rarely revived in England or the United States, Mint’s production re-established THE MADRAS HOUSE as “a terrific play.”1

“The arguments are so vividly written and the sexual and social tensions they reveal so bracing, that you’ll be surprised by how fast the play goes by,”2 hailed Time Out New York of our “delightful and important production.”3 The Wall Street Journal echoed this praise, offering “Cheers to the Mint Theater for bringing it back to the New York stage—and doing it in style.”1

It would be hard to exaggerate the seminal role played by the actor, director, playwright and polemicist Harley Granville-Barker (1877-1946) in the development of 20th-century British theatre.

Barker fought to create the conditions in which intelligent new drama could flourish, challenging the pernicious system of long runs, lavish settings, and an emphasis on stars that deterred artistic risk.

The repertory movement and the National Theatre for which Barker agitated (drawing up the first detailed Scheme for it in 1907, with the critic William Archer) owe a huge amount to his example and inspiration, as does modern Shakespeare production.

So, Barker’s legacy would have been considerable, had he not also written a clutch of subtle, penetrating plays that combine Chekhovian skill at handling a large ensemble with trenchant social analysis.

The world of Edwardian women, their economic dependence on men and the interaction of fashion and feminism, is viewed in four different environments in his astonishing 1910 piece The Madras House.

In 1918, Barker acquired a wealthy American wife and retired from the hurly burly of the theatre. The puzzle of what happened psychologically to theatre’s great white hope would make a fascinating, speculative drama – though you would probably need the gifts of Granville-Barker to do it justice.


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  • Clara Huxtable, Marion Yates, Mannequin,
    Maid at Denmark Hill
    Mary Bacon / Amy Fitts
  • Eustace Perrin State Ross Bickell
  • Minnie Huxtable, Jessica Madras Lisa M. Bostnar
  • Philip Madras Thomas M. Hammond
  • Henry Huxtable Jonathan Hogan
  • Katherine Huxtable, Miss Chancelor Laurie Kennedy
  • Amelia Madras Roberta Maxwell
  • Emma Huxtable, Mannequin Allison McLemore
  • Jane Huxtable, Mannequin, Maid at Phillimore GardensPamela McVeagh
  • Belhaven Scott Romstadt
  • William Brigstock, Mr. Windlesham Kraig Swartz


  • Set Design Charles Morgan
  • Costume Design Clint Ramos
  • Lighting Design William Armstrong
  • Sound Design Ellen Mandel
  • Properties Design Jesse Dreikosen
  • Wigs and Hair Gerard James Kelly
  • Dialects and Dramaturgy Amy Stoller
  • Casting
    Stuart Howard, Amy Schecter & Paul Hardt
  • Production Stage Manager Allison Deutsch
  • Assistant Stage Manager Andreao Jo Martin
  • Press Representative David Gersten & Associates
  • Graphics Hey Jude Design, Inc.


Cable, author of “Popular Secularism and the Idea of Islam on the Early Modern English Stage,” discusses Constantine Madras, a convert to Mohammedism. He explains/elaborates in the context of early modern English orientalism in drama, along with the artistic treatment of Muslim characters and ideas on the stage.


Claybaugh is a professor of English and a specialist in Trans-Atlantic literary studies. She is the author of Cross Purposes: Literary Ambition and Social Reform in the Trans-Atlantic Novel. She discusses THE MADRAS HOUSE from the perspective of social history.


Andrews is a professor of theater whose principal interest is Shaw and his contemporaries. He is the author of the essay “Voysey in Context,” published by the Shaw Festival. He discusses the interplay between THE MADRAS HOUSE and Shaw’s MISALLIANCE.


Meisel is the author of Shaw and the 19th-Century Theatre and a frequent speaker at the Mint. This discussion focused on the play and its author.


Gainor is the author of Shaw’s Daughters: Dramatic and Narrative Constructions of Gender. This discussion focuses on the social context of the play.


Mazer was chair of the Theater Arts program at Penn for many years. His published writing includes “Granville Barker and the Court Dramatists,” in The Blackwell Companion to Modern British and Irish Drama. This discussion focuses on the play and its author.