CONNECTICUT CRITICS CIRCLE
A Woman of No Importance
By Bob and Karen Isaacs
BOB: Yale Rep is presenting one of Oscar Wilde's comedies - not the most famous, The Importance
of Being Earnest - but an earlier comedy, A Woman of No Importance. It's set in an idyllic English
country estate where for young Gerald Arbuthnot and his mother, the assembled no-so-polite
company holds the keys to happiness in life and love. In this comedy of serial seducers, moralizing
monogamists, secret pasts and simmering heartbreak, how will the Arbuthnots choose between
social advancement and painful truths spoken from the heart.
KAREN: For American audiences, what is particularly amusing is that there is a young, wealthy
American girl visiting this estate.
BOB: She is basically the moral center of the play.
KAREN: But also the comments that the English gentry make about America are very funny.
BOB: And of course Wilde was very clever. Let me tell you that I think that James Bundy the director
made a mistake in the first act. It is presented across the entire stage and the cast is spread out
across the stage.
KAREN: I think it needed to be brought in. It's a little static.
BOB: In order for people to communicate from one side to the other, it seems that they need to be
shouting. At any rate, it is a very interesting costume piece that is done beautifully.
KAREN: I have to say that Anya Klepkov who did the costumes did a great job. That later 19th
century period in ladies fashion was exquisite - though I wouldn't want to wear them with all the
boning and corsets. But the costumes were terrific and the cast wore them well. I thought the cast
was very good. Although I did think that the young American girl, who is supposed to be very
attractive, didn't quite live up to that description.
BOB: The great part is Mrs. Arrbuthnot played by Kate Forbes.
KAREN: This play really deals with the inequity of how society deals with men and women. Men can
get away with so much more.
BOB: Geordie Johnson who plays the villain - though he really isn't much of a villain was excellent.
KAREN: And I loved Judith-Marie Bergan who played Lady Caroline, whose estate this takes place
BOB: You have to plough along through the first act - but once you get past it, the play just pops
KAREN: It's fun - it's half comedy and half melodrama, which may be a little excessive for our current
BOB: You'll love the Wilde barbs.
This review originally aired on station WNHU.