Shaw wrote the play in early 1912 and read it to famed actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell in June. She came on board almost immediately, but her mild nervous breakdown contributed to the delay of a London production. Pygmalion premiered at the Hofburg Theatre in Vienna on 16 October 1913, in a German translation by Shaw's Viennese literary agent and acolyte, Siegfried Trebitsch. Its first New York production opened on 24 March 1914 at the German-language Irving Place Theatre. It opened in London on 11 April 1914, at Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree's His Majesty's Theatre and starred Mrs. Campbell as Eliza and Tree as Higgins, running for 118 performances. Shaw directed the actors through tempestuous rehearsals often punctuated by at least one of the two storming out of the theatre in a rage.
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