2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A wonderful production,
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've loved this play for years, and have been lucky enough to have seen several productions. For those who are unfamiliar with Oscar Wilde's wonderfully absurd romantic comedy, it involves two bachelors, John Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff - both who claim to be Earnest Worthing - the two ladies they wish to marry, and the indomitable Lady Bracknell, whose views on suitability make everything more complicated.
This version was first aired in 1977, and is divided into the original 4 Acts. Each Act has been separated by piano music, reminiscent of Algy's playing in Act 1. The extra section concerns Algy's first arrival in the country as Earnest, and has a solicitor arriving at John Worthing's Manor House in the country to take Earnest Worthing off to prison for non payment of debts. It's the first time I've heard that act, and it does add brilliantly to the development of the relationships, whilst losing none of the absurdity.
Prunella Scales produced here one of the best Cecily Cardew's I've heard, but the great joy of this play is almost always in the voice of Lady Bracknell, played here by Fabia Drake. And it was an excellent performance; I wasn't quite convinced with her rendition of the famous, `a handbag', but that's probably just me, and the rest of the performance was very well delivered. Her voice has a fantastic timbre for the role, and she brought out nuances I hadn't picked up on from other productions.
I would highly recommend this CD, both for those who already love the play, and those who haven't yet had the pleasure. I played it in the car - and it was successful in silencing all three children for the entire journey.