Wednesday, 19 March 2014

An Ideal Husband (by Oscar Wilde)

Set in the 1890s, the theme is up to date
Oscar plays with social mores – reputations are at stake.
A dashing politician with his oh-too-righteous wife
Entertain in genteel splendour, where gossiping is rife.

Enter Mrs. Cheveley with an Argentinian sell
Lord Chiltern, played by Conrad, smells a rat as we can tell.
Persuaded by wife Gertrude to renege upon the deal
He remembers how when young he fell for Arnheim’s spiel.

A compromising letter held in Laura’s reticule
Threatens to denounce him and expose him as a fool
Lords Caversham and Goring are woven in subplot
Arthur gets the letter and burns it on the spot.

Then it’s Gertrude’s turn to suffer as her letter goes astray
Robert Chiltern starts to wonder if his wife will run away.
But Oscar’s skill is masterly; the loose ends are soon tied
And Goring pleases father, taking Mabel as his bride!

Deborah’s version here in Brussels is set in smart Post-war
With glamorous cocktail dresses and dramatic wigs galore
“Carriages” are banished; instead we have the “car”
The staging is well managed – I think we have a star!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Brussels production


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