The School for Scandal

Undoubtedly one of the finest productions of the play, a malicious plot upon a happy marriage, designed with exquisite care and cast to great effect, beginning essentially with Felix Aylmer and Joan Plowright as Sir Peter and Lady Teazle, who are variously cozened by Joseph Surface (John Moffatt) and Lady Sneerwell (Frances Rowe) to win Sir Peter’s ward Maria (Miranda Connell) and her fortune for Joseph and leave poor Charles Surface (Tony Britton) for Lady Sneerwell, whose salon of talemakers and talebearers provides the title and Athene Seyler as Mrs. Candour with “wit and poet” Sir Benjamin Backbite (John Saunders), Sir Oliver Surface (Redmond Phillips) arrives to survey his nephews and so forth.

It’s the sort of thing that Bergman is fond of constructing in his line. The direction is admirable.