Lady Windermere’s Fan, by Oscar Wilde, was first performed in 1892 in London. It is classified as a comedy of manners though there is as much drama in it as comedy, with the central theme being of how a woman can be ‘ruined’ and expelled from society.
The play concerns Lady Windermere, a ‘good woman’ with strict morals, who believes her husband is having an affair with a Mrs Erlynne, who is newly arrived in London. The confusion which arises is pure Wilde, with gossiping women, gossiping men, compromising situations and… a fan left in a Lord’s rooms and discovered by one of his gentlemen friends!!
There have been numerous productions of this popular play, on stage, radio and screen. Ernest Lubitsch directed the first (silent) movie in 1925 to great acclaim. In 2009 a version of it, set in South County Dublin, was broadcast on TV3 as Laura Windermere’s Bag. In 2018 Kathy Burke directed a production at London’s Vaudeville Theatre in which Jennifer Saunders played the Duchess of Berwick.
Wilde on the opening night of the stage production, in February 1892. afterwards addressed the audience ‘I congratulate you on the great success of your performance, which persuades me that you think almost as highly of the play as I do myself’!
The social suicide which Lady Windermere almost commits coupled with the acceptance by many of the women of her social set of the ‘infidelities’ of their husbands is typical of a society full of deceptions and hypocrisy which Wilde takes pleasure in exposing.
Directed by Anne O’Connell
Wed 9th to Sat 12th Nov
8pm €16 / €14
Special matinée on Sat 12th
3pm - all seats €14
(or €10 for groups of 10 and over)
dlr Mill Theatre Dundrum Town Centre
From previous RTG productions of Wilde:
The Importance of Being Earnest 1996
The Wilde Night 2000
The Importance of Being Earnest 2012