Importance Of Being Earnest

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About Importance Of Being Earnest

Importance Of Being Earnest

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (A Trivial Comedy For Serious People) is a play by Oscar Wilde. First performed on the 14th February 1895 at the St James Theatre in London, it is a farcical comedy in which the protagonists maintain fictitious personæ to escape burdensome social obligations. Working within the social conventions of late Victorian London, the play's major themes are the triviality with which it treats institutions as serious as marriage and the resulting satire of Victorian Ways. Contemporary reviews all praised the play's humour, though some were cautious about its explicit lack of social messages, while others foresaw the modern consensus that it was the culmination of Wilde's artistic career so far. Its high farce and witty dialogue have helped make it Oscar Wilde's most enduringly popular play. The successful opening night marked the climax of Wilde's career, but also heralded his downfall. The Marquess of Queensbury (whose son Lord Alfred Douglas was Wilde's lover) planned to present the writer with a bouquet of rotten vegetables and disrupt the show. Wilde was tipped off and Queensberry was refused admission. Soon afterwards their feud came to a climax in court, where Wilde's homosexual double life was revealed to the Victorian public and he was eventually sentenced to imprisonment. His notoriety caused the play, despite its early success, to be closed after 86 performances. After his release, he published the play from exile in Paris, but he wrote no further comic or dramatic work. The Play has been revived many times since its premiere and adapted for cinema three times. The most famous later theatre production was at The Globe between 1939-1940. It was produced and starred John Gielgud (as Jack) along with casts that included many future greats ; Edith Evans (Lady Bracknell) / Margaret Rutherford (Miss Prism) / Peggy Ashcrofy (Cecily) / Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies (Gwendolen) and Jack Hawkins (Algernon). The Times considered this production the best since the original and praised it for its fidelity to Wilde's conception with its "airy, responsive ball-playing quality".


Importance of Being Earnest

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An exceptional original vintage 1939 autograph book page, clearly signed in ink by seven of the main cast of the play ; John Gielgud d2000 (Jack) / Edith Evans d1976 (Lady Bracknell) / Jack Hawkins d1973 (Algernon) / Margaret Rutherford d1972 (Miss Prism) / Peggy Ashcroft d1991 (Cecily) / Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies d1992 (Gwendolen) and George Howe d1986 (Rev Canon Chasuble).

Incredibly all four of these wonderful British actresses went onto become Dames (DBE's) in later years ; Edith Evans (1946) / Peggy Ashcroft (1956) / Margaret Rutherford (1967) and Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies (1991) who also lived to the age of 101.

Double mounted with the original August 1939 cover of the programme & ticket stub for the evening (Globe Theatre Dress Circle 12s A19) and reproduction images (taken from the programme). 

Amazing to find all these important actors on one single autograph book page together. Three pages of the programme are also signed besides their images in ink by John Gielgud / Peggy Ashcroft and Jack Hawkins.


Autographs were obtained on August 16th 1939 as annotated on the programme and as verified by the original ticket stub. We wll include the rest of the programme pages in the sale. AFTAL Dealer No13 and UACC RD Memorabilia UK COA.


19x13cm Sized Autograph Book Page.

21x14cm Sized Programme (20 pages)

18x17in >> Acid Free Mount >> Unframed


Good. View Images.


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