The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (1895)

Before there was Lady Bracknell, there was Lady Gay Spanker.  Smaller cast than LONDON ASSURANCE, but many similarities.  After the initial setup there is a long dead space of declining interest – until the final windup, which is good.

Act 1: Algernon’s flat in London

  • JACK enters under false name ERNEST
  • Town & Country | Ernest & Jack
  • The cigarette case – and its inscription
  • Bunbury
  • JACK won’t tell ALGY where his (JACK’s) country house is
  • But then ALGY overhears JACK tell GWENDOLEN where the house is

Act 2: The Manor House

  • ALGY arrives
  • JACK arrives early
  • JACK announces ERNEST has died
  • JACK wants to be baptised
  • JACK sees ALGY
  • GWENDOLEN arrives and discovers CECILY
  • The jig is up – everything is revealed

Act 3: The Manor House

  • The reckoning with LADY BRACKNELL
  • Brothers at last