The Importance of Being Earnest Ep9 – A reunion and a death: Journey back to Victorian London with us for the ninth episode of The Importance of Being Earnest, based on the original comedy by Oscar Wilde.
Lady Bracknell makes a surprise appearance. And she’s not pleased that Algernon is in love with Cecily.
Gwendolen and Cecily are angry with Jack and Algernon now they know their real names – neither of them are called Ernest. The two women are inside the house. The men come in trying to look and sound cheerful.
Jack and Algernon
[whistling Daisy, Daisy]
I’m sure they’re feeling sorry. Let’s not say anything.
Certainly not. Mr Moncrieff, why did you pretend to be my guardian‘s brother?
So that I had the opportunity to meet you.
That seems a satisfactory explanation, doesn’t it Gwendolen?
Yes, if you can believe him.
I don’t. But his answer was so beautiful.
True. In matters of great importance, it’s style, not truth that is essential. Mr Worthing, why did you pretend to have a brother? Was it so you could come to London to see me?
Do you have any doubts, dear Gwendolen?
I have serious doubts. But I intend to ignore them. Cecily, should we forgive them?
Yes. I mean no. Probably not. What about their names?
True! I had forgotten!
Gwendolen and Cecily
Your names are still a huge problem!
Jack and Algernon
Our names! Is that all? But we are going to be christened with a different name this afternoon.
You are prepared to do this terrible thing for me, Jack?
To please me you are ready to face this awful experience, Algernon?
How can people talk about the equality of the sexes! Men have moments of physical courage which we women know absolutely nothing about.
And they fall into each other’s arms. Merriman comes in and coughs loudly. He announces a visitor.
Ahem! Ahem! Lady Bracknell!
Gwendolen! What does this mean?
Simply that I am engaged to Mr Worthing, mamma.
Mr Worthing, I followed my daughter by train. Gwendolen is meant to be attending a university lecture. Well, that is what her father thinks. All communication between yourself and my daughter must end immediately.
We are engaged to be married, Lady Bracknell!
You are nothing of the kind, sir. And now, what about Algernon! … Algernon!
Yes, Aunt Augusta.
May I ask if it is in this house that your sick friend Mr Bunbury lives?
Oh! No! Bunbury doesn’t live here. Bunbury is somewhere else at the moment. In fact, Bunbury is dead.
Dead! When did he die?
Oh! I killed Bunbury this afternoon. I mean poor Bunbury died this afternoon.
He died so suddenly? What did he die of?
I mean he was discovered! The doctors discovered that he could not live, so he died.
He seems to have had great confidence in the opinion of his doctors. I am glad that he finally made up his mind to take some definite course of action, and acted under proper medical advice. And now, Mr Worthing, who is the young person whose hand my nephew Algernon is holding in an unnecessary way?
That is Miss Cecily Cardew, I’m her guardian.
I am engaged to Cecily, Aunt Augusta.
I beg your pardon?
Mr Moncrieff and I are engaged to be married, Lady Bracknell.
Lady Bracknell has to sit down at this news.
There seems to be something unusually exciting in the air – the number of engagements seems to be above average. Mr Worthing, is Miss Cardew at all connected with any railway stations in London? I am simply asking. Until yesterday I didn’t know any families or people whose origin was a station.
Miss Cecily Cardew is the granddaughter of the late Mr Thomas Cardew of 149 Belgrave Square; Gervase Park, Surrey; and the Sporran, Fifeshire.
Three addresses. That always gives me confidence. I am not unsatisfied.
How extremely kind of you, Lady Bracknell!
Now Gwendolen, we have to leave… Just one thing, Mr Worthing, does Miss Cardew have any money?
Oh! About £130,000. That is all. Goodbye, Lady Bracknell. So pleased to have seen you.
A moment, Mr Worthing. £130,000! Miss Cardew seems to me a most attractive young lady, now that I look at her. Come over here, dear… Turn round, dear child, so I can see your face.There are definite social possibilities in your face. Algernon!
Yes, Aunt Augusta!
There are definite social possibilities in Miss Cardew.
I don’t care about social possibilities.
Never speak disrespectfully of Society, Algernon. Only people who can’t get into it do that. Now Miss Cardew, of course you know that Algernon has nothing but his debts to depend upon. But I do not approve of marriages for money. Well, I suppose I must give my consent.
Thank you, Aunt Augusta.
The marriage had better take place quite soon. I am not in favour of long engagements. They give people the chance to find out each other’s characters before marriage – never a good thing.
I’m sorry to interrupt you, Lady Bracknell, but I am Miss Cardew’s guardian, and I don’t give my consent to this marriage.
And why not may I ask? Isn’t Algernon an extremely eligible young man? He has nothing, but he looks everything. What more can one desire?
The fact is that I do not approve of his moral character. He has not been honest.
Algernon and Cecily look at him amazed.
Untruthful! Algernon? Impossible!
I’m afraid there is no doubt. This afternoon he came to my house pretending to be my brother. He has succeeded in one afternoon to change the affections of dear Cecily. He then stayed to tea, and ate all the muffins.
Ahem! Mr Worthing, after careful consideration I have decided to forgive my nephew’s behaviour.
That is very generous of you, Lady Bracknell. However I have not changed my mind. I do not give my consent.
someone who is legally responsible for someone else such as a child whose parents cannot look after them (perhaps because they have died)
given a name (usually as a baby) during a religious ceremony in the Christian Church
the ability to face difficult situations or danger without showing fear
a county in England near London
a county in Scotland
thinking that someone is good and honest
showing lack of respect
amounts of money you owe to someone
suitable as someone to marry
to think someone or something is good
good and honest
small, round type of bread that is sliced and eaten hot with butter
The Importance of Being Earnest Ep9: A reunion and a death (transcript video)
BBC Short Dramas – The Importance of Being Earnest
- BBC Short Dramas: The Importance of Being Earnest Ep1
- BBC Short Dramas: The Importance of Being Earnest Ep2
- BBC Short Dramas: The Importance of Being Earnest Ep3
- BBC Short Dramas: The Importance of Being Earnest Ep4
- BBC Short Dramas: The Importance of Being Earnest Ep5
- BBC Short Dramas: The Importance of Being Earnest Ep6
- BBC Short Dramas: The Importance of Being Earnest Ep7
- BBC Short Dramas: The Importance of Being Earnest Ep8
- BBC Short Dramas: The Importance of Being Earnest Ep9
- BBC Short Dramas: The Importance of Being Earnest Ep10
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