“I confess, Mr. Surface,” Mrs. Candour says, addressing a young gentleman, “I cannot bear to hear people attacked behind their backs; by the bye, I hope ’tis not true that your brother Charles is absolutely ruined?”
Richard Brinsley Sheridan took no hostages in his brilliant satire of upper crust society in late 18th century England. His 1777 masterpiece, The School for Scandal skewered scandal mongering, hypocrisy and shallowness but allowed decency and fidelity to triumph.
Lady Sneerwell, along with with her cohort, Snake and Mrs. Candour are an out-and-out wrecking crew of lives, reputations, marriages and engagements—using that most delicate of instruments the spread of false news or innuendo.
Often referred to as a comedy of manners, The School for Scandal is one Sheridan's most performed plays and a classic of English comedic drama.
RICHARD BRINSLEY SHERIDAN (1751 – 1816) was an Irish satirist, a playwright and poet, and long-term owner of the London Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. He is best known for his plays The Rivals, The School for Scandal, The Duenna, and A Trip to Scarborough. His plays remain a central part of the canon and are regularly performed worldwide.
“The School for Scandal is the quintessential creation about people blabbering about people. Here is sham, snobbery and betrayal in full regalia. Yet it is suffused with true elegance. Even sentiment peers through. Language glitters and characters effervesce...”
?The New York Times