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The Importance of Being Oscar – BBC2

The Importance of Being Oscar
(Image credit: BBC/IWC Media)

Documentary drama about Oscar Wilde's glittering career before his trial. Adaptations of his work are intercut with contributions from the likes of Stephen Fry and Gyles Brandreth

Docudrama about Oscar Wilde's glittering career before his trial

Watching Anna Chancellor play the snobbish, mercenary and domineering Lady Bracknell in a scene from The Importance of Being Earnest is an utter joy in this one-off docudrama on Oscar Wilde, and demonstrates the majesty of his prose, his cutting wit and subtle commentary on the hypocrisy of Victorian upper-class society.

Importance of Being Oscar

Anna Chancellor stars as Lady Bracknell

With excerpts from his greatest works, performed by a stellar cast of actors, alongside biographical details recounted by experts and fans, including Stephen Fry, the Irish writer is brought to life to show that there was more to him than the notoriety and scandal that shamed him in court.

As Wilde wrote: the truth is rarely pure and never simple.

TV Times rating: *****