Oscar Wilde - An Ideal Husband
BBC Radio 3: Drama on 3
Broadcast: Sunday 17th June 2007 @ 8:15 p.m.
Set in the glittering world of English society at the end of the 19th century, with its parties, balls, dinners and endless gossip, "An Ideal
Husband" was Oscar Wilde's third play and one of his strongest.
Written in 1894 when Wilde was at the height of his social fame, "An Ideal Husband" probably contains more of Wilde's famous epithets
than any of his other plays. In contrast to his next and greatest success, "The Importance Of Being Earnest", which is a piece of brilliant
satirical nonsense, "An Ideal Husband" has at its core a serious plot. It is well constructed, and won praise from Bernard Shaw, who
wrote: "He plays with everything: with wit, with philosophy, with drama, with actors and audiences, with the whole theatre."
The unprincipled Mrs Cheveley threatens to reveal Sir Robert Chiltern's secret past unless he agrees to give his support in Parliament
to a questionable Argentinian venture. Faced with ruin in the eyes of the country and his wife, he seems to have no alternative. Wildean
wit and the elegance of English society is woven into this classic drama.
Adaptation by David Timson of Oscar Wilde's 1894 play, "An Ideal Husband".
With Alex Jennings [Sir Robert Chiltern], Emma Fielding [Lady Chiltern], Janet McTeer [Mrs. Cheveley], Geoffrey Palmer [The Earl of
Caversham], Jasper Britton [Viscount Goring], Joanna Page [Miss Mabel Chiltern], Sara Kestelman [Lady Markby], Lucy Whybrow
[Countess of Basildon], Patience Tomlinson [Mrs. Marchmont], Oliver le Sueur [Vicomte De Nanjac], Hugh Dickson [Phipps, Lord
Goring's Servant], Derek Beard [Mason, Butler to Sir Robin Chiltern], and John Cummins [Mr. Montford / James, Sir Robert's Footman].
Directed by David Timson.
Produced by Nicolas Soames.
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