What's in a name, anyway? Plenty, it turns out, especially if you're Ernest, the scandalous -- and fictitious -- brother/alibi of Jack Worthing, a strait-laced dandy in Victorian England just itching to have a bit of fun in London while away from his country estate. It's a time when style trumped substance and -- this being Wilde at his most incisive -- Jack's games soon spin hilariously out of control. Sir Peter Hall directs.
Lynn Redgrave stars as the domineering Lady Bracknell, a font of outlandish quips in a work rife with witticisms, who is determined to have her daughter Gwendolen marry well. Her cunning and pompous pronouncements propel a plot as delightfully convoluted as it is ingenious. Identities are contrived and mistaken. Women fall in and, just as effortlessly, out of love. Egos are (slightly) wounded. And ostentation ultimately gives way to redemption.
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