Algy and Jack discover that they have both been "Bunberrying", that is, assuming different identities in order to enjoy themselves in a guilt-free manner. Jack's pretending to be his ... See full summary »
Algy and Jack discover that they have both been "Bunberrying", that is, assuming different identities in order to enjoy themselves in a guilt-free manner. Jack's pretending to be his foolish younger brother, Ernest in order to be a model of moral rectitude to his young ward, Cecily. Jack intends to propose to Gwendolyn--that is until he discovers that she loves him because his name is Ernest. He sets about being rechristened. And when Cecily intends to meet her bad cousin Ernest, and Algy seizes the opportunity, it will take the imperious Lady Bracknell, Miss Prism's recollections about her handbag, and an army list to clear the matter up, and allow true love to run its course. Written by
DVD notes for this adaptation claim it is not the 'four act version of the play' - without reference to the text I can't say for sure what has been added or subtracted. However, the play as most of us know it remains intact.
As Jack and Algy, Paul McGann and Rupert Frazer are OK but not fantastic. Joan Plowright is an interesting Lady Bracknell, but not really my idea of the character. And Amanda Redman impresses as Gwendolyn. In minor roles Gemma Jones and Alec McCowen provide the characters of Prism and Chasable with comic relief, not always the best policy but one which works here.
Rather pedestrian and not likely to disturb memories of Redgrave/Denison/Evans in the 1950s, this Earnest is rather more of a damp squib than a raging flame.
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