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Lady Windermere's Fan

From Academic Kids

Lady Windermere's Fan is a play by Oscar Wilde, first published in 1892. Like so many of Wilde's comedies, it has a dark side.

The play has been the subject of numerous film and television adaptations. The 1925 silent film stars Ronald Colman, May McAvoy, Bert Lytell, Irene Rich and Edward Martindel. It was adapted by Julien Josephson and directed by Ernst Lubitsch. A new film adaptation, "A Good Woman" has been released in the UK in May 2005 and is to be released in the US in September. Taking its name from the play's subtitle, A Play About a Good Woman, which may refer to Lady Windermere or Mrs Erlynne depending on which critic you believe, it stars Scarlett Johansson as the former and Helen Hunt as the latter character, with Tom Wilkinson playing 'Tuppy', or Lord Augustus. The setting has been switched to Italy in the 1930s, on the Amalfi coast. The film's director is Mike Barker, whose only memorable previous project is Best Laid Plans with Reese Witherspoon.

The story concerns the attempts of a disreputable older woman to blackmail the husband of her daughter (who does not know her mother's true identity) into making her accepted in society.

Numerous characters in the play draw their names from places in the north of England: Lady Windermere from the lake Windermere, the Duchess of Berwick from Berwick-upon-Tweed, Lord Darlington from Darlington.

An important revival of the play directed by the British actor and director, Keith Baxter, opens in June 2005 at The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC, with Dixie Carter playing Mrs. Erlynne. [The Shakespeare Theatre (http://www.shakespearetheatre.org)]

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