Four classic comedies from one of the wittiest playwrights in Western literature: Lady Windermere's Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, and The Importance of Being Earnest, all featuring star-studded casts with the likes of Jacqueline Bisset, Miriam Margolyes, James Marsters, Alfred Molina, Roger Rees, Yeardley Smith, Eric Stoltz, and many more. This audio also includes a chilling dramatization of Wilde's sole novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Lady Windermere's Fan:
The irreverent satire that launched Wilde's succession of classical comedies. A Lord, his wife, her admirer, and an infamous blackmailer converge in this delicious comic feast of scandal. A divinely funny comedy of good girls, bad husbands, and the moral hypocrisy of British high society in the late 19th century. Stars Roger Rees, Eric Stoltz, Miriam Margolyes, Joanna Going, Gina Field, Judy Geeson, Arthur Hanket, Lisa Harrow, Dominic Keating, James Warwick, Tom Wheatley. Directed by Michael Hackett.
A Woman of No Importance:
Devilishly attractive Lord Illingworth is notorious for his skill as a seducer. But he is still invited to all the "best" houses while his female conquests must hide their shame in seclusion. In this devastating comedy, Wilde uses his celebrated wit to expose English society's narrow view of everything from sexual mores to Americans. Stars Rosalind Ayres, Jane Carr, Peter Dennis, Judy Geeson, Paul Gutrecht, Martin Jarvis, Cherie Lunghi, Robert Machray, Miriam Margolyes, Samantha Mathis and Jim Norton.
An Ideal Husband
A tender love story, a glittering setting in London society, and a shower of witticisms are only a few of the reasons this play has enjoyed hugely successful revivals. This 1895 drama is eerily prescient, as it explores the plight of a promising young politician, desperate to hide a secret in his past. With empathy and wit, Wilde explores the pitfalls of holding public figures to higher standards than the rest of us. Stars Jacqueline Bisset, Alfred Molina, Yeardley Smith, Rosalind Ayres, Paul Gutrecht, Martin Jarvis, Robert Machray, Miriam Margolyes and Jim Norton. Directed by Michael Hackett.
The Importance of Being Earnest
This final play from the pen of Oscar Wilde is a stylish send-up of Victorian courtship and manners, complete with assumed names, mistaken lovers, and a lost handbag. Jack and Algernon are best friends, both wooing ladies who think their names are Ernest, "that name which inspires absolute confidence". Wilde's effervescent wit, scathing social satire, and high farce make this one of the most cherished plays in the English language. Stars James Marsters as Jack, Charles Busch as Lady Bracknell, Emily Bergl as Cecily, Neil Dickson as Lane/Merriman, Jill Gascoine as Miss Prism, Christopher Neame as Chasuble, Matthew Wolf as Algernon, and Sarah Zimmerman as Gwendolen. Also includes an interview with director Michael Hackett, Professor of Theater in the School of Theater, Film and Television at UCLA.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
One of the great classics of contemporary Western literature. Dorian Gray, an effete young gentleman, is the subject of a striking portrait by the artist Basil Hallward. Gray's narcissism is awakened, and he embraces a lifestyle of hedonism and casual cruelties. Increasingly consumed by his own vanity, he is forced to confront his true inner-self, in a manner that is as shocking as it is terrifying. Stars Steve Juergens, Jim Ortlieb, Colleen Crimmins, Roger Mueller, Thomas Carroll, Paulin Brailsford, Rush Pearson and Martin Duffy. Directed by Terry McCabe and Jeffrey Ortmann.
©2010 L.A. Theatre Works (P)2010 L.A. Theatre Works
"Fans of Oscar Wilde will delight in this collection of four of the author's best-loved plays and a theatrical adaptation of his only novel. These full-cast productions - Lady Windermere's Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, The Importance of Being Earnest - feature energetic performances from a host of talented actors including Eric Stoltz, Martin Jarvis, Alfred Molina, and Jacqueline Bisset. Razor-sharp comedic timing from all the players will entertain listeners while the production of A Picture of Dorian Gray offers a darker pleasure and a cast that delivers a taut, suspenseful performance." (Publisher's Weekly)
"The smart direction and casting and well-executed musical scores are a boon to the production, which will keep audiences laughing and engaged through multiple listens." (Library Journal)
These are very entertaining stories with surprisingly progressive perspectives on issues that are just as relevant today.
Oscar Wilde is clever, witty and very entertaining in his transmission of strong moral adn ethical messages.
These are acted performances with a cast of stellar actors who bring the plays to vivid life.
In each of the plays there is a moment when I felt very moved with sympathy for the victims.
Of course, the stories are contrived, adn they are old, but I think they are well worth listening to and are very entertaining.
If you know the plays, this is a decent collection.
While the performance is OK, Audible does have much better available as single plays for most. That said I like the collection in one audio format.
I found 'Dorian Grey' interpreted for stage interesting. The snips of interview and the the Theatre sounds of the audience did evoke the sense of a live production. If you like Theatre, then you will know that not all performances are world class and can be a bit forgiving.
My suggestion is to check through Audible's collection of Oscar Wilde and listen to a few samples before you decide on this. Especially so, if you are really only interested in one or two plays.
"A Great Wilde Collection"
This is a collection of five live performances of Oscar Wilde plays. All of these were wonderful. My favorites were Lady Windermere’s Fan and The Importance of Being Earnest. The Picture of Dorian Gray was not really an Oscar Wilde play but an adaptation of the novel which used lines dialog from other Wilde plays, which was only disappointing because of just having heard the identical lines in the other, preceding plays. This was the best adaptation of Dorian Gray that I have either seen or heard. The performances are very good and the writing is both funny and engaging. This is one of the best collections of plays I have listened to.
"All charming until Dorian Gray."
Mostly charming versions of Wilde's plays with some interesting interviews as intermissions. The whole effect is ruined by a really detestable dramatic adaptation of Picture of Dorian Gray. Poorly conceived and poorly executed.
"I didn't like the theatre recording."
The laughter in the background is annoying. I removed it from my device. Stopped at first chapter.
"A Performance Not an Audiobook"
Happy to have listened even though it was not an audiobook. Classic stories and great one-liners
"I heard one quote and had to know more"
I discovered Oscar Wilde through a quote attributed to him. His subtle humor is fantastic. I laughed rarely but smiled often.
I want to listen to this audio repeatedly just to soak up all the subtleties that I may have missed.
Somebody please tell me who else writes like Mr. Wilde!
"Witty, vivid Great Claasics!"
Wished it never ended... such a pleasure to listen to these prominent actors! I had read some of the plays before, yet it was extremely interesting to hear them vivid, in a "real life". Voices are suited to the characters in an absolutely best way. Bravo to all the actors!
As for the customer plays... They are witty, flowing, fluid. Masterpiece!
The actors did such a great job! These stories are funny and well worth listening to as plays.
Voices, story and production all excellent. Ending with The Picture of Dorian Gray was perfect.
Wow what a great collection of plays by Oscar Wilde. I loved The Importance of Being Earnest and have heard it before the other 4 were just as delightful and two were haunting. I hadn't heard or read Picture Of Dorian Gray or Mrs. W's Fan. Loved them all
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