Theatre Night (1985– )
8 user 1 critic
Lord Windermere appears to all - including to his young wife Margaret - as the perfect husband. But their happy marriage is placed at risk when Lord Windermere starts spending his ... See full summary »


Tony Smith


Oscar Wilde (play)

On Disc

at Amazon




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Helena Little Helena Little ... Lady Windermere
Tim Woodward ... Lord Windermere
Stephanie Turner ... Mrs. Erlynne
Kenneth Cranham ... Lord Darlington
Sara Kestelman Sara Kestelman ... Duchess of Berwick
Robert Lang ... Lord Augustus Lorton
Ian Burford Ian Burford ... Parker
James Saxon James Saxon ... Cecil Graham
John Clive John Clive ... Mr. Dumby
Geoff Morrell ... Mr. Hopper
Amanda Royle Amanda Royle ... Lady Agatha Carlisle
Veronica Lang Veronica Lang ... Lady Plymdale
Diana Fairfax ... Lady Jedburgh
Vivien Lloyd Vivien Lloyd ... Lady Stutfield
Gloria Connell Gloria Connell ... Mrs. Copwer-Cowper


Lord Windermere appears to all - including to his young wife Margaret - as the perfect husband. But their happy marriage is placed at risk when Lord Windermere starts spending his afternoons with an adventuress who is working her way through London's high society, Mrs. Erlynne. Worse, Windermere gives her big sums of money. To crown it all he asks his wife to invite the detestable woman to her own birthday party. Upset and outraged, the puritan Lady Windermere decides to leave her husband and goes to Lord Robert Darlington, who has been courting her for some time. Unfortunately she leaves her fan - the one Robert offered her for her birthday - in Robert's house... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Romance







Release Date:

15 September 1985 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


This production won an American Cable ACE award in the category Theatrical Special in 1987. See more »


Version of L'éventail de Lady Windermere (1961) See more »


The Washington Post
Written by John Philip Sousa
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User Reviews

Very fine production
29 November 2006 | by sissoedSee all my reviews

I'v never seen this play in any form before, whether on stage or video. I found the play excellent and this production very good. This production really deserves more than just three comments (it appears mine is the third. I hope more people see it, and comment on it). The fundamental message of the play is to be understanding of those who appear to have failed the standards we wish they'd upheld, because we can never be sure we know enough about the situation they were in to be able to judge whether they acted well, given the situation they were in. An important and compassionate message. It is similar to much of Jane Austen, in which the characters are so often misjudging the goodness or badness of other characters because they lack sufficient and accurate information about the situations those characters face. In many ways, Lady Windermere's Fan could be a work by Jane Austen. It's a great shame Wilde was born into a society that had so little compassion for him, that it destroyed such an insightful artist who helped all of us gain a better understanding of human nature. As to this particular TV production, I felt the first scene was a little stiff, but then the actors settled into it. I think the production would have benefited by taking a few more liberties with the play, in the manner in which the 1950s Anthony Asquith movie of The Importance of Being Earnest broke up the opening scene from the play into a couple of scenes, in different locations. All the language and characters would be there, but there would be more motion, more activity. It would have given the production more vitality at the outset. Also, one thing a play needs -- indeed, any story needs -- right at the outset is a character who engages you emotionally, so you want to see what happens to her or him, whether bad or good. In this, I didn't feel it, until the actor playing Lord Windermere, Tim Woodward, entered. Lady Windermere should have been much more vulnerable and engaging at the outset -- I don't know whether the fault lies with Wilde, for not writing her that way, or the director, for not directing the actress that way, or the actress, for not playing it that way, but whoever is to blame, it made the first five minutes or so hard to care about, until Woodward came on. Woodward was excellent all the way through -- very natural and convincing acting, and he has a wonderful voice. I checked on IMDb and discovered he is the son of one of my favorite actors, Edward Woodward (Breaker Morant, TV's The Equalizer, and one of my favorite roles, Sir Samuel Hoare in Winston Churchill the Wilderness Years). This son Tim is distinctive and effective in his own way, I would like to see him in more roles.

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