Aug 19, 2021 - Sale 2578

Sale 2578 - Lot 2

Price Realized: $ 3,120
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,500 - $ 2,500

OSCAR WILDE (1854-1900)

Program from the original production of "The Importance of Being Earnest" at St. James's Theatre.
4 printed pages, 250x190 mm; 10x7 1/2 inches, on one folding sheet, with chromolithograph illustration on first page; horizontal fold, minor wear. London, circa March 1895.

Additional Details

This opening run of "The Importance of Being Earnest," in addition to introducing Wilde's final and most enduring play to the world, was also the period when he was publicly accused of sodomy and was plunged into legal difficulties.

As with all other examples of this program, it states that the play was "Produced Thursday, February 14th, 1895." That does not mean it was printed for the 14 February opening night performance, however. As with most examples, this copy shows a cast change. The original actress in the role of Cecily Cardew was Evelyn Millard, who fell ill and was temporarily replaced by Violet Lyster as shown here. That suggests a performance from some point in March 1895; Millard later returned to the production.