July Discussion: The Importance of Being Earnest

ImportanceThe Read It & Steep group simply loved The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde.  We had such fun discussing this silly play that I took almost no notes at all!  We all delighted in the read and many of us made sure to watch an adaptation (or in some cases more than one adaptation) on film. We all took great delight in laughing about the absurdities of the actions in the play.  What fun it must have been to see this on stage and know that you are laughing at yourself (if you happened to be part of the society that Wilde is satirizing).

I was surprised (and pleased) at the number of our readers who had not read this gem before.  Especially coming from George, a steeper who has read just about every early Greek play no matter how obscure; he voiced his delight in Wilde’s writing and an interest in reading more.  Nothing can be so gratifying!  George, unfortunately, was away for the summer and I only had his input through the letter he wrote me about the play.

Since the only attendees at this discussion were women, I fear we did a downward slide into discussing a whole lot about the adaptations and more specifically the men in them.  I talked about how much more accurate the 1952 version is and that while we felt the 2002 adaption wasn’t as strong, we still enjoyed it.  We thought the majority of the casting in the 2002 version was spot-on, Frances O’Connor shines as Gwendolyn and Dame Judi Dench is perfection as Lady Bracknell, Aunt Augusta.  We all seemed to scratch our heads over the hiring of Reese Witherspoon as the teenage Cecily, but oh well.

We spent an inordinate amount of time discussing Colin Firth and how we love pretty much everything he does.  It inspired Steeper Mary to exclaim, “Is there a man with a better walk than Colin Firth? If so, I’ve never seen one.” Causing Maureen to reply, “I’ll have to watch What A Girl Wants when I get home to see his walk.”

We all agree that The Importance of Being Earnest is an absolute delight and well worth both the read and the watch.  We loved that this extraordinary little piece of farce translates so well even 100 years later.  We enjoyed discussing the characters, their motivations & their craziness.

5 enthusiastic teacups.

5 teacups

My only disappointment was that I meant to wear my Oscar Wilde t-shirt that I always wear when traveling overseas or back.  It states, “I have nothing to declare but my genius.”


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