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73 Reviews
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The wittiest play ever written in the English language
"The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Comedy for Serious People" is one of the first plays written in English since the works of Shakespeare that celebrates the language itself. Oscar Wilde's comedy has one advantage over the classic comedies of the Bard in that "The Importance of Being Earnest" is as funny today as it was when it was first performed at the St...
Published on 12 July 2004 by Lawrance M. Bernabo

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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear, oh dear!
When this recording came out, I immediately ordered it, expecting a CD version of the recording available for decades on audio tape (also with Gielgud/Evans). NAXOS, however (and much to my chagrin), "regale" us (??) with a 1952 radio recording which is the aural equivalent of looking at an old oil painting that has been sandblasted and then hosed down with acid...
Published on 14 Nov 2005


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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top, top play - great performance, 26 Mar 2010
By 
Mr. D. A. Cure "Sir Danalot" (Droitwich) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Importance of Being Earnest (Classic Radio Theatre) (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I got this to entertain me during long car journey's to work and it worked a treat - Wilde's classic piece is given a top notch BBC performance here and is not to be missed!
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and witty., 24 Mar 2010
This review is from: The Importance of Being Earnest (Classic Radio Theatre) (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to this audio CD.
The characters voices are just perfect, and draw you
into the story, which is wonderfully witty.

Both my teenage son and daughter found the story very
funny and enjoyable, and it was great to introduce my
son to one of Oscar Wilde's works that he would not
have sat down to read.

I have quite a few books on audio CD, and have found
this CD to be top quality compared to some I have.

This is an unabridged version that was recorded in
1977, there are two CDs which last a total of 2
hours and twenty minutes, and is in four acts.

It stars Jeremy Clyde, Richard Pasco, Prunella Scales
and Maurice Denham.

I highly recommend this, as I was not disappointed.
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2 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You want a one-liner? Go for Oscar Wilde!, 11 Aug 2003
Yes, I know this is Oscar Wilde; yes, I know that he's One Of The Most Renowned Playwrights Ever; and yes, I did have to study this for English A-level.
None of these are The Point.
Oscar Wilde was a funny man. He was witty, he was incisive, he was clever. He had enough amusing and/or biting one-liners to fill wedding speeches to fit anyone from Henry Tudor to David Beckham. However, and do tut at the screen if you think I'm wrong, one wants more from a play than one-liners. Naturally, a smattering is delightful, and they're often what makes a play. But when the plays are as stilted and contrived as these, one-liners aren't going to get you very far (although they are good for the backs of carrier bags).
Oscar Wilde was a social commentator, and not a very kind one. To commentate on society not very kindly, he had to convey his scorn for certain types of people through his characters. Hence, one might say, their stilted and contrived natures. However, surely there's only so far you can take this method? The Importance Of Being Earnest manages to be quite amusing while avoiding being stilted and contrived, but Lady Windermere's Fan is the definition of these traits. Further, Oscar Wilde only seemed to ever write one play; certainly, they have different names and slightly different circumstances, but I believe that they are pretty much all too similar. Lord Darlington as charmingly scandalous as Algy, anyone? Lady Bracknell meets Lady Windermere and the Duchess of Berwick to be rather dull? I'd say so.
Yes, I studied this at school, but that doesn't mean I was set against it. I also studied Betjeman and Blake, and I'm fond of them. Perhaps, however, it was the studying of these texts in close detail which showed up what I believe to be their faults. Maybe one should take them with the pinch of salt that Wilde seemed to need to sprinkle quite liberally.
Or maybe one should read The Importance Of Being Earnest and be happy with that and greetings cards and carrier bags.
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The Importance of Being Earnest (Classic Radio Theatre)
The Importance of Being Earnest (Classic Radio Theatre) by Oscar Wilde (Audio CD - 4 Mar 2010)
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