(P)2006 L.A. Theatre Works
Very well presented in this recording.
The politician's problem is still an issue today (trying to hide something shady in his past, and being blackmailed by someone who knows about it).
There is a lot of lighthearted and/or amusing speech throughout, and some minor characters exist mainly for laughs. Wilde puts the most seemingly frivolous major characters "in the right", both in their attitudes and their verbal cleverness.
An Ideal Husband is not a sermon, though it has a serious subject behind it.
This version definitely is more enjoyable because multiple players take part than it could be read on the page. Best of all would be to see it on the stage --- but this is a very worthy second-best.
An Ideal Husband is my favorite of Wilde's works, and I chose to listen to this version specifically because it was presented as an audio version of the play. And were it not for Yeardley Smith as Mabel, I would have given this 5 stars. Unfortunately, I had a rather nails-on-the-chalkboard reaction to Yeardley Smith's voice. That's what I get for not listening to the sample, I suppose. I'll probably listen to An Ideal Husband again, but not this version of it.
This recording is a performance featuring Rosalind Ayres, Jacqueline Bisset, Paul Gutrecht, Martin Jarvis, Robert Machray, Miriam Margolyes, Alfred Molina, Jim Norton and Yeardley Smith.
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