Friday, April 09, 2010

Oscar Wilde Plays

From the treasure trove, that is the local library, I got a set of Oscar Wilde's plays on DVD. It was a BBC Production from the 70s, featuring some good TV actors. The plays were "The Importance of Being Earnest", "Picture of Dorian Gray', "Lady Wildemere's Fan" and "An Ideal husband". The wit, humour, satire, complex characterizations and the gentle twists in the plots make it worth the while watching these plays. Though set in the late 19th century, the plays still feel contemporary in the issues they deal with. The dialogues and repartees are fresh, they could be called the early sit-coms, but with much deeper significance. I also had watched the "Importance Of Being Earnest" live in one Off-Broadway play here in San Francisco last year, and found it fun. In fact that acted as the catalyst in my watching this set.

Wilde was an iconoclast during his time, had a tortured time due to his unconventional outlook of society, in part not helped by his homosexual entanglements. Had to spend time in jail, also died penniless in an indigent state in Paris.

But he truly was a genius, as he famously said when he arrived in USA for the first time "I have nothing to declare but my genius".


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