An ideal choice for the Abbey
AN IDEAL HUSBAND Abbey Theatre, Dublin Previews Aug 11-13 Opens Aug 14-Sep 27 8pm 130/120/116 Sats 2.30pm 118/114 01-8787222 When Oscar Wilde wrote An Ideal Husband, in 1893, he was riding a wave of success, with the best yet to come. A few years later, his career and life would lie in ruins, with death from cerebral meningitis immediately ahead.
Wilde was condemned and destroyed by the same hypocritical English society he satirised, as in this particular play. The noble Lord Chiltern has made a fortune that secures his social status and political success through a kind of insider trading, something he still sees as a legitimate means of becoming rich and powerful. His friend Lord Goring sees it differently, but still helps him out when blackmail threatens to expose him.
The character of Goring is the nearest embodiment of Wilde to appear in any of the author’s plays, a walking compendium of aphorism and wit. It is extraordinary that the Abbey has never staged this one before, and a cause for congratulation that the omission is at last being remedied. GERRY COLGAN can’T see ThaT? caTch This Sizwe Bansi Is Dead Project, Dublin