In the morning room of “The Manor House” Gwendoline and Cecily are gazing attentively out into the garden anticipating the imminent arrival of Jack and Algernon from the garden.
In the garden of “The Manor House”, Jack Worthing’s country estate Cecily, Jack’s ward is studying with her governess Miss Prism before the unexpected arrival of Algernon Moncrief.
The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People is a play by Oscar Wilde. First performed on 14 February 1895 at the St James's Theatre in London, it is a farcical comedy in which the protagonists maintain fictitious personae to escape burdensome social obligations. Working within the social conventions of late Victorian London, the play's major themes are the triviality with which it treats institutions as serious as marriage, and the resulting satire of Victorian ways.
Algernon Moncrief is playing the piano in the drawing room of his flat in Half Moon Street, Mayfair awaiting the arrival of his formidable aunt Lady Bracknell accompanied by his cousin Gwendolen, and in walks his best friend Jack Worthing.
Back in London Mr. Pickwick pays Dodson and Fogg, sends Jingle and his servant to the West Indies to begin afresh, and learns that Emily Wardle is planning to elope with Snodgrass. Mr. Pickwick convinces Mr. Wardle that Snodgrass is a worthy gentleman, and the couple are married in Mr. Pickwick's newly purchased home. In the meantime Sam Weller has been courting a pretty housemaid named Mary, and under Mr. Pickwick's auspices they are married.
The 23rd of April is not only the birthday of the bard with some historical records also suggesting the date of his death, it is one year and one month since the commencement of our first pandemic lockdown. During this year and one month we have all experienced a roller coaster of emotion. Unprecedented at least within the life experiences of much of our present generation. Yet at its most fundamental level the human condition and its reaction to the trials and tribulations to which it is subjected remains unchanged throughout the centuries. The raw emotions felt by Shakespeare and his cast of characters were no different to those expressed by us all in our collective 21st Century battle with our viral enemy.
On returning to London, Mr. Pickwick is taken to the Fleet Prison for debtors because he will not pay damages. In prison he witnesses much misery, filth, and squalor and for a brief time he is victimized by two predatory inmates. There he finds Alfred Jingle and his servant in utter destitution and gives them some assistance. Mr. Pickwick tells Sam Weller to leave him, but Sam has himself jailed for debt to be with his kindly master. Dismayed by the misery of prison, Mr. Pickwick rents a cell by himself and comes out only in the evenings. When Mrs. Bardell is arrested and jailed because she cannot pay her lawyers, Mr. Pickwick begins to soften. Further, Winkle has married Arabella and needs Mr. Pickwick to intercede for them with her brother and his own father. Finally Mr. Pickwick decides to pay costs, which releases himself and Mrs. Bardell, and he also pays Jingle's debts.
BBC Radio Oxford's Jerome Sale spends some time talking with David Hunter about the latest in Springline Radio Players audio productions, "The Canterville Ghost", by Oscar Wilde and how the collaboration with Open Door Playhouse, a professional theatre company based in Los Angeles, California came into being.
We are pleased to present the first in our collaborative series entitled “Across the Pond Theatre”, the joining of Our Kid and Me Productions in Oxfordshire, UK and Open Door Playhouse Theatre in California, USA.
"The Canterville Ghost" is a humorous short story by Oscar Wilde. It was the first of Wilde's stories to be published, appearing in The Court and Society Review, on 23 February and 2 March 1887.
The story is about an American family who moved to a castle haunted by the ghost of a dead English nobleman, who killed his wife and was then walled in and starved to death by his wife's brothers.
Eventually the Pickwickians return to the Wardle farm to celebrate Christmas and the wedding of Mr. Wardle's daughter, Isabella. Amid festivities Snodgrass continues his romance with Emily, and Winkle falls in love with Arabella Allen, a friend of Mr. Wardle's daughters.On Valentine's Day, 1831, Mr. Pickwick is tried for breach of promise. Due to the rhetorical allegations of Serjeant Buzfuz and to the circumstantial evidence, Mr. Pickwick is found guilty and ordered to pay damages, which he refuses to do.
In London, Mr. Pickwick learns that Jingle is in Ipswich and goes there to expose him. Because of a mix-up in bedrooms at an Ipswich Inn Mr. Pickwick is hauled before the justice, a local henpecked tyrant called Mr. Nupkins. Nupkins is visited frequently by Jingle, who is interested in the daughter. Mr. Pickwick extricates himself by proving that Jingle is an adventurer.