British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Essential Oscar Wilde, The

Synopsis
A two-disc set comprising classic BBC productions of The Importance of Being Earnest, An Ideal Husband, Lady Windermere’s Fan and a Timewatch programme entitled ‘The Life and Loves of Oscar Wilde’.
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Year of release
2003
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
biographies; television drama; Wilde, Oscar (1854-1900); drama in English

Credits

Cast
Alec McCowen 

Distribution Formats

Type
DVD
Format
Region 2 PAL
Price
£19.99
Availability
Sale
Year
2004

Sections

Title
Importance of being Earnest, The (BBC)
Synopsis
The cast includes Joan Plowright as Lady Bracknell, Paul McGann as John Worthing and Amanda Redman as Gwendolyn. Alec McCowen and Gemma Jones appear as Dr Chasuble and Miss Prism. The production is faithful to Wilde’s text and features Gwendolan not as the traditional Victorian ingénue but as a sparkling, predatory minx. Directed by Stuart Burge. Shown on BBC2 on 29/5/1988.

Title
Life and Loves of Oscar Wilde, The
Synopsis
A Timewatch documentary from 1995 which presents an authoritative portrait of Oscar Wilde and his remarkable family. It features interviews with the writer’s grandson, Merlin Holland and Lady Alice Douglas, great grand-niece to his lover. Martin Shaw is the voice of Wilde in this programme which contextualises the plays and provides the truth about Oscar Wilde.

Title
Ideal Husband, An (BBC)
Synopsis
A BBC production shown in the ‘Play of the Month’ series on 11/5/69. Director Rudolph Cartier is largely faithful to Wilde, mixing the darkness and humour which infuse this classic play. The topics examined have a startlingly contemporary feel to them: marital mishaps, public relations and political chicanery. The cast includes Jeremy Brett, Susan Hampshire and Margaret Leighton.

Title
Lady Windermere’s Fan (BBC)
Synopsis
Kenneth Cranham delivers a tour de force performance as Lord Darlington and other cast members include Helena Little, Stephanie Turner and Tim Woodward, son of the renowned English actor, Edward Woodward. The producer was Louis Marks. Produced in 1985.

Distributor

Name

BBC Learning Special interests

Email
gavin.collinson@bbc.co.uk
Web
http://www.bbcworldwide.com/specialinterests/ External site opens in new window
Phone
0870 066 7521
Fax
020 8433 2916
Address
Room A3040
80 Wood Lane
London
W12 0TT
Name

BBC Shop

Email
bbcshop@bbc.co.uk
Web
http://www.bbcshop.com External site opens in new window
Phone
0844 848 9799
Fax
01795 414 555
Address
PO Box 308
Sittingbourne
ME9 8LW
Notes
The BBC Shop closed on March 29th 2016. It was replaced by the BBC Store (www.bbcstore.com) where many BBC programmes can be bought and downloaded in digital format only. The BBC continues to make many of its programmes available on DVD and Blu-Ray but these are now only available from other online retailers.

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