Monday, November 20, 2006

The Story

The School For Scandal: The Story

The beautiful Lady Teazle is the elderly Sir Peter Teazle’s young trophy wife. Gossip abounds concerning her relationship with Charles Surface. Lady Sneerwell, leader of the social circle identified as “the school for scandal,” is spreading those rumors.

Why? Lady Sneerwell wants Charles for herself. But she knows Charles is in love with young Maria. She wants Maria to reject him for being unfaithful.

Charles has a brother, Joseph Surface. He actually is trying to seduce Lazy Teazle, though he, too, desires Maria. Joseph pretends to high virtue, but is a hypocrite. Charles lives the life of a libertine, but is generous and sincere.

Into this menagerie arrives a rich uncle (or in this production, an aunt) to the orphan Surface brothers, whose remains incognito to observe the brothers and decide which one deserves the family fortune.

Will Lady Teazle be ruined? Will Sir Teazle believe the rumors about her? Will Lady Sneerwell snare Charles, will Charles or Joseph end up with Maria, and/or their relative’s wealth? These questions are answered in farcical final scenes that involve a closet, a “duel,” a dressing screen, and a character named Snake who protests, “I live by the badness of my character; and if it were once known that I had been betrayed into an honest action, I should lose every friend I have in the world.”


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