Monday, January 08, 2007
The correspondences between Earnest and Travesties are too numerous to catalogue here. To give you a taste, though, the following are passages that you can listen for in the performance:
ALGERNON: How are you, my dear Ernest? What brings you up to town?
JACK: Oh, pleasure, pleasure! What else should bring one anywhere? Eating as usual, I see, Algy!
ALGERNON: [Stiffly.] I believe it is customary in good society to take some slight refreshment at five o’clock.
ALGERNON: By the way, Shropshire is your county, is it not?
JACK: Eh? Shropshire? Yes, of course. Hallo! Why all these cups? Why cucumber sandwiches? Why such reckless extravagance in one so young? Who is coming to tea?
ALGERNON: Oh! merely Aunt Augusta and Gwendolen.
JACK: How perfectly delightful!
ALGERNON: Yes, that is all very well; but I am afraid Aunt Augusta won’t quite approve of your being here.
JACK: May I ask why?
ALGERNON: My dear fellow, the way you flirt with Gwendolen is perfectly disgraceful. It is almost as bad as the way Gwendolen flirts with you.
JACK: I am in love with Gwendolen. I have come up to town expressly to propose to her.
ALGERNON:Besides, your name isn’t Jack at all; it is Ernest.
JACK:It isn’t Ernest; it’s Jack.
ALGERNON:You have always told me it was Ernest. I have introduced you to every one as Ernest. You answer to the name of Ernest. You look as if your name was Ernest. You are the most earnest-looking person I ever saw in my life. It is perfectly absurd your saying that your name isn’t Ernest. It’s on your cards. Here is one of them. [Taking it from case.] ‘Mr. Ernest Worthing, B. 4, The Albany.’ I’ll keep this as a proof that your name is Ernest if ever you attempt to deny it to me, or to Gwendolen, or to any one else. [Puts the card in his pocket.]
JACK: Well, my name is Ernest in town and Jack in the country, and the cigarette case was given to me in the country.
JACK: I have lost both my parents.
LADY BRACKNELL: Both? To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.
CECILY: I knew there must be some misunderstanding, Miss Fairfax. The gentleman whose arm is at present round your waist is my guardian, Mr. John Worthing.
LADY BRACKNELL: What are your politics?
JACK: I am afraid I really have none. I am a Liberal Unionist.
LADY BRACKNELL: Oh, they count as Tories. They dine with us.