Liz S (ixwin) wrote,
Liz S

A Woman of No Importance

Saw A Woman of No Importance at the Haymarket Theatre (which is where it originally premiered in 1893) yesterday.

The Woman of the title is an unmarried mother who encounters the father of her child, now a Lord, after twenty years when he offers a job to their son (not knowing at the time who he is) and the play is an odd mix of typically Wildean wit (most of the first half) and Victorian melodrama (most of the second half, particularly the final act). The cast don't play the melodrama for laughs (and I don't think Wilde intended it to be played for laughs), but at some points the spectacle of people flinging themselves sobbing at one another's feet raises a chuckle in the audience nonetheless. Whilst resolving the main plot, the play leaves some of the supporting characters hanging, which leaves the whole thing feeling somewhat unbalanced.

It's only just opened and the cast were still a little uncertain, fumbling some of the lines which was a shame. Hopefully, this will improve, and it's worth going if you're a Wilde fan. It's got about the right number and mix of parts to make a good readthrough too, although there are probably quite enough of those in the queue already.

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