"I never travel without my diary," says the sheltered and beautiful young maiden. "One should always have something sensational to read on the train." With this play, which premiered in 1895, Oscar Wilde established a uniquely British style of verbal stage humor. One could say with justification that it is one of the funniest plays in the English language. Or, because plays are (in a sense) rewritten every time they're performed, potentially so. The radio production heard here realizes that potential in spades. A young John Gielgud takes the lead, while Dame Edith Evans steals the show as the imperious Lady Bracknell, a role for which she was famous in her lifetime. That today's American listeners won't recognize the names of the other cast members doesn't mean they're any less capable. The entire ensemble shines. The timing! The gusto! The sense of fun! This reviewer has heard every audio recording of EARNEST; this is by far the best of them all. Overlook the bad sound quality and you'll be richly rewarded. Y.R. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine [Published: JUNE/JULY 05]
Trade Ed. Naxos AudioBooks 2005
CD ISBN 9626343427 $15.98 Two CDs
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