Wednesday, May 09, 2018
An Ideal Husband "I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself." #Wilde #Vaudeville
The Rolls-Royce of English comedies, Oscar Wilde‘s An Ideal Husband explores corruption and morality, bringing an act of political sin into the heart of the English home. An ambitious government minister, Sir Robert Chiltern (Nathaniel Parker) along with his wife Gertrude played by Sally Bretton, seem to have a smooth ascent to the top assured. That is until Mrs Cheveley (a marvellous Frances Barber) appears in London with damning proof of Robert's past financial chicanery.
This witty new production from director Jonathan Church brings together all the best aspects of the play - gag-fest, drawing room comedy, melodrama, romance, morality play, even farce – melding them together with complete success to create a golden, satisfying whole.
Susan Hampshire puts in an oddly touching comic turn as garrulous Lady Markby and Faith Omole is a coquettish delight as Robert's sister Mabel Chiltern.
But it is the fantastic Mr Foxes that really wow. Real-life father and son team Edward Fox (as father Earl of Caversham) and Freddie Fox (as incorrigible dandy-about-town son Lord Goring) are perfection. Their scenes together - especially in the second half - are funny, exasperating, affectionate, and blissful.
Best quotes of the night:
Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast.
Nothing ages like happiness.
There is nothing so difficult to marry as a large nose.
To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.
Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people we personally dislike.
I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself.
Fashion is what one wears oneself. What is unfashionable is what other people wear.
Questions are never indiscreet. Answers sometimes are.
Fathers should be neither seen, nor heard.