Not Bloody Likely: a tabloid testimonial for Bernard Shaw

A publication produced through the module My Fair Lady: Radical Publishing and the Shaw Collection, led by Nathan O’Donnell, as part of a collaboration between Art in the Contemporary World and National Gallery of Ireland.

Contributors: Nadia J. Armstrong, Simon Bhuyian, Brian Cooney, Tom Creed, Catherine Fay, Alison Lowry, Anna Maye, Aisling Ni Aodha, Kristen Olson, Alex Pentek, Belinda Quirke, Katharina Steins.

Due to huge demand, we no longer have print copies available. Click here to download a PDF version of the publication.

To book your place at the online launch on 21st April at 6.30pm go to See below for details.

George Bernard Shaw famously left one third of his posthumous royalties to the National Gallery of Ireland, describing it as the ‘only real education I ever got as a boy in Eire’. These royalties included the proceeds of his 1913 stage play Pygmalion, which was used as the basis for the hit stage musical written in 1956 and adapted for the screen in 1964, under the title My Fair Lady. This was one of the highest grossing movies of its time, leading to a vast expansion in the Gallery’s purchasing power that has lasted up to present day. 

On the occasion of Shaw’s work coming out of copyright in 2020, this publication embraces an opportunity to creatively revisit and re-evaluate copyright law and artistic legacy, with new freedom to reflect upon, transform and appropriate his work. Not Bloody Likely was developed collaboratively online, without ever meeting in person. The subjects covered within a newspaper-style publication, explore diverse aspects of Shaw and the National Gallery including writing, politics, legacy, speech, appropriation, place, history, philanthropy, self-improvement and artistic influence. Each contribution has been developed by individual students on the Art in the Contemporary World programme, drawing on a range of textual and visual practices. The result is a selection of topics, texts and visual commentary on an iconic figure who made a huge impact on Irish and world culture, and on the National Gallery of Ireland in particular. 

The course participants would like to thank the National Gallery of Ireland, especially Jennie Taylor, Education Department, for their support and the opportunity to work closely with the collection. 

Join us online to launch the publication on Wednesday 21st April from 6.30pm.

Event schedule:

6.30pm – 7.15pm
An introduction to the publication with short readings and presentations by contributors.

7.20pm – 8pm
A conversation with actress Clare Dunne, who played the title role in Shaw’s play Major Barbara at the Abbey Theatre in 2013, visual artist Aoibheann Greenan who took inspiration from Shaw’s writing on Wagner for her 2016 performance The Perfect Wagner Rite, and writer Una Mullally whose work ranges across journalism, activism and creative practice.

The event will be chaired by Declan Long, Course Director – Art in the Contemporary World.

To book your place at the online launch on 21st April at 6.30pm go to

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