'The pace is deathly slow and for a play with such a threadbare plot'
Opened 21 Nov 2014
WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
First performed 1895. In decorous London society, where most women have their eyes set on snaring the perfect husband, Mrs Laura Cheveley is set on securing a lucrative Argentinian investment. All she needs to ensure the success of her scheme are corruptible connections in high places. Luckily, upright government minister, Sir Robert Chiltern, has a dark secret, and Mrs Cheveley knows exactly what it is. Now she just has to slice right through Sir Robert's outwardly respectable world, bending his earlier shame to her advantage. But there is one last hope for Sir Robert: Mrs Cheveley has a dark secret too, and Sir Robert's adoring wife, Lady Chiltern, who was at school with her, knows exactly what it is. Set in London in 1985, An Ideal Husband is considered to be Oscar Wilde's dramatic masterpiece. Blisteringly witty, the play is both a stylish comedy and a searing exposure of hypocrisy and bogus morality. In its analysis of ambition, shame, corruption and ruin, it speaks most passionately, not only to our age, but also to Wilde's personal crisis at the time.