Friday, September 21, 2012

Wilde thing

My second visit to the Unicorn, and it's to witness another impeccably crafted comedy of manners and polite society, though rather better known than Come On Jeeves: Oscar Wilde's sparkling dramatic masterpiece The Importance Of Being Earnest. Some of the same cast are involved (it's the same amateur dramatics group, Break A Leg), but overall the quality of the acting is superior - Jack Worthing has a posh, booming confidence, but Lady Bracknell steals the show with some witheringly acerbic asides delivered to absolute perfection.

It helps, of course, that the script is so razor-sharp you could cut yourself on it, stuffed with memorably pithy Wildean aphorisms (particularly on the subject of marriage and relations between the sexes), and that the plot twists and turns neatly until reaching about as neat a denouement as could be imagined, giving the lie to the claim that "The good end happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means."

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