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The Importance of Being Earnest | [Oscar Wilde]

The Importance of Being Earnest

This final play from the pen of Oscar Wilde is a stylish send-up of Victorian courtship and manners, complete with assumed names, mistaken lovers, and a lost handbag. Jack and Algernon are best friends, both wooing ladies who think their names are Ernest, "that name which inspires absolute confidence." Wilde's effervescent wit, scathing social satire, and high farce make this one of the most cherished plays in the English language.
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Publisher's Summary

This final play from the pen of Oscar Wilde is a stylish send-up of Victorian courtship and manners, complete with assumed names, mistaken lovers, and a lost handbag. Jack and Algernon are best friends, both wooing ladies who think their names are Ernest, "that name which inspires absolute confidence."

Wilde's effervescent wit, scathing social satire, and high farce make this one of the most cherished plays in the English language.

©2009 L.A. Theatre Works; (P)2009 L.A. Theatre Works

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (930 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Nothing really matters Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 09-10-14
    Nothing really matters Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 09-10-14 Member Since 2014

    Rob Thomas

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The inspiration for much that followed."

    It was interesting to finally hear this play. You can see almost at once how this story profoundly affected the next fifty years or so of British books, movies, and television.

    I though it was the Monty Python crew who had invented that zany kind of comedy. Now, I'd say they just updated and perfected what they learned from this play.

    And that too-clever and insanely fast banter of old British movies? Yup, it seems to come from this play as well.

    The play is a bit dated now, of course, but was still funny and very fascinating to listen to.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew FAIR OAKS, CA, United States 10-07-14
    Andrew FAIR OAKS, CA, United States 10-07-14 Member Since 2009

    I'm a web developer based out of Sacramento, I listen to books while I work, and love audible.

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    "Brilliant and hilarious"
    Any additional comments?

    A must read for anyone with a refined sense of humor.

    This is an audio recording of the play with a live audience, so that really added to the flavor.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 06-17-12
    C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 06-17-12

    Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!

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    "Wanted to Love It!"

    I love "The Importance of Being Earnest" and have seen and heard a number of productions. Being also a fan of James Marsters, I bought this with great anticipation. It's respectable, but it was ruined for me by the actor (yes, actor!) playing Lady Bracknell. One of the great female parts in the theater, Lady Bracknell deserves more than just the novelty of being played by a man. No objection in this of all plays to gender-bending, but it just didn't work in this case. See if you can find "The Importance of Being Earnest" from BBC, with Joan Plowright in the role.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zara Bell Savannah, GA United States 02-01-15
    Zara Bell Savannah, GA United States 02-01-15 Member Since 2014

    ZB

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    "Fabulous"

    I love Wilde, but this was even more fun than I expected. Interesting commentary by the production's director afterwards. Yes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glutenfreegirl 11-19-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Delilghtful Parody of Victorian Life"
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    All the actors were good and the play was performed quite well. If you like the movie, you will enjoy this full cast audio production.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. B. Simons-Lane Miami, Fl 10-06-14
    L. B. Simons-Lane Miami, Fl 10-06-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Wilde has a brilliant way with words!"
    If you could sum up The Importance of Being Earnest in three words, what would they be?

    Society is ridiculous.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Importance of Being Earnest?

    The twist ending was so absurd it was wonderful.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    I love James Marsters so it would have to be Jack Worthing.


    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed this production of The Importance of being Earnest. I had forgotten how brilliant Wilde is at playing with language.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Woods Madison 09-24-14
    J. Woods Madison 09-24-14 Member Since 2012

    Sabine

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    "Utter absurdity and profound hilarity"

    Oh my goodness. This performance is all of the things that this play deserves. The recording quality is top-notch and the interpretation of the absurd wit is excellent.

    The plot contains all the usual Victorian tropes: Instant love, mistaken identity, misunderstandings, and a misplaced handbag.

    I will be listening to this one again and again, whenever I need a break from the unfunny absurdity of life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    satya 09-10-14
    satya 09-10-14 Member Since 2015
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    "That was amazing"

    I did not know it was that funny. The performance, the story the wit, everything about this production is great. Just buy it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana 09-09-14
    Diana 09-09-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Enjoyable - especially liked discussion afterward"

    This was fun to listen to, but what was great too was the discussion afterward with the Professor of Theater who discussed Oscar Wilde, his work, his life, and how this play fit with society and people's ideas in that era.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eleanor 08-12-14
    Eleanor 08-12-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Well acted and very funny!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Importance of Being Earnest the most enjoyable?

    The actors were wonderful, especially James Marsters! I could really imagine myself in that theater.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Hearing it acted out makes it so much funnier. While it is very funny to read there is something spectacular about hearing it acted out.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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