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Shaw wrote the play in the spring of 1912 and read it to Mrs. Campbell in June. She came on board almost immediately, but her mild nervous breakdown (and its doctor-enforced seisure, which led to a quasi-romantic intrigue with Shaw) contributed to the delay of a London production. Pygmalion premiered at the Hofburg Theatre in Vienna on October 16, 1913, in a German translation by Shaw's Viennese literary agent and acolyte, Siegfried Trebitsch. Its first New York production opened March 24, 1914 at the German-language Irving Place Theatre. It opened in London April 11, 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 three storming out of the theater in a rage.
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