Beware the gossips! Lady Sneerwell and her hireling, Snake, are certainly up to no good in this timeless send-up of hypocritical manners. Thanks to their scandal-mongering, the comely Lady Teazle must fend off the slanderous barbs that have caught the ear of her elderly husband - as well as every other gossip in London! What follows is a torrent of mistaken identities and sex-crazed scheming in which the upper classes have never looked so low class.
An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring (in alphabetical order): Stuart Bunce as Charles Surface, Jane Carr as Mrs. Candour, John H. Francis as Rowley/Others, Henri Lubatti as Snake/Moses/Others, Christopher Neame as Sir Oliver Surface, Moira Quirk as Maria/Maid, Julian Sands as Joseph Surface, Susan Sullivan as Lady Sneerwell, Tara Summers as Lady Teazle, Simon Templeman as Sir Peter Teazle, James Warwick as Crabtree/Others, and Matthew Wolf as Sir Benjamin Backbite. Directed by Michael Hackett. Recorded before a live audience at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, in January 2011.
Public Domain (P)2011 L.A. Theatre Works
I definitely enjoyed The School for Scandal and even found myself laughing at times. I think the story was elevated by the excellent performances, particularly those of Peter Teazle and Lady Candour.
This story is very much an artifact of its time. It plays on what might be considered scandalous during that period and it develops this notion that each subset of society is made up of at least one of each type of person portrayed--an honest gentleman and an honest woman, an older gossip, a conniving wench, an egotistical older man who likes pulling rank...I could go on, but you probably get it by now!
Anyway, if you do listen to his audible performance or read the story, you might want to do so while you're still in school. I am a few years removed from college and I certainly would have understood the nuances, satire and irony in this play a lot better with the help of a professor and a preceptor.
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