The Oscar Wilde Sketch
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Zoom in to overlay showing some stock film of hansom cabs galloping past. Suitably classy music starts.
CAPTION: LONDON 1895
THE RESIDENCE OF
MR. OSCAR WILDE
Mix through to Wilde's drawing room. A crowd of suitably dressed folk are engaged in typically brilliant conversation, laughing affectedly and drinking champagne. Prince: My congratulations, Wilde. Your latest play is a great success. The whole of London's talking about you. Oscar: There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.
There follows fifteen seconds of restrained and sycophantic laughter. Prince: Very, very witty … very, very witty. Whistler: There is only one thing in the world worse than being witty, and that is not being witty.
Fifteen more seconds of the same. Oscar: I wish I had said that. Whistler: You will, Oscar, you will. (more laughter) Oscar: Your Majesty, have you met James McNeill Whistler? Prince: Yes, we've played squash together. Oscar: There is only one thing worse than playing squash together, and that is playing it by yourself. (silence) I wish I hadn't said that. Whistler: You did, Oscar, you did. (a little laughter) Prince: You really must forgive me, Wilde, I've got to get back up the Palace. Oscar: Your Majesty is like a big jam doughnut with cream on the top. Prince: I beg your pardon? Oscar: Um … It was one of Whistler's. Whistler: I never said that. Oscar: You did, James, you did.
The Prince of Wales stares expectantly at Whistler. Whistler: … Well, Your Highness, what I meant was that, like a doughnut, um, your arrival gives us pleasure and your departure only makes us hungry for more. (laughter) Your Highness, you are also like a stream of bat's piss. Prince: What? Whistler: It was one of Wilde's. One of Wilde's. Oscar: It sodding was not! It was Shaw! Shaw: I … I merely meant, Your Majesty, that you shine out like a shaft of gold when all around is dark. Prince: (accepting the compliment) Oh. Oscar: (to Whistler) Right. Right? (to Prince) Your Majesty is like a dose of clap. Whistler: Before you arrive -- before you arrive is pleasure, and after is a pain in the dong. Prince: What? Oscar: and Whistler One of Shaw's, one of Shaw's. Shaw: You bastards. Um … what I meant, Your Majesty, what I meant … Oscar: We've got him, Jim. Whistler: Come on, Shaw-y. Oscar: Come on, Shaw-y. Shaw: I merely meant … Oscar: Come on, Shaw-y. Whistler: Let's have a bit of wit, then, man. Oscar Come on, Shaw-y. Shaw: (blows a raspberry)
The Prince shakes Shaw's hand. Laughter all round.