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The consequence of Sheridan's systematic disentangling of the two in The School for Scandal is a reinvestment in the power of ridicule and abjection, inevitably directed at the single figure with a proper name, Miss Letitia Piper or Sir Peter Teazle or Moses the Jew.
His comic flair is matchless when he literally snarls at Lady Teazle "my angel" and "my life," or balks when his spouse tells him, "I ought to have my own way in everything.
This brevity is to be found in several other entrance comments, some others of which simply indicate "A Hall in Sir Peter Teazles House" (beginning of 1.
Then we meet the newly hitched Sir Peter (Bedford), whose fallings out with the much younger Lady Teazle (Kate Fry) - a budding scandalista - threaten both his own comfort and the potential happiness of his ward, Maria (Devon Sorvari).
Ken plays Sir Peter Teazle, a bachelor in his 50s who marries a young woman (Emma Fielding) who he thinks he'll be able to control.
Although resembling Congreve in having satirical wit so brilliant and general that it does not always distinguish one character from another, The School for Scandal does contain two subtle portraits, Joseph Surface and Lady Teazle.
Richard Standing as Joseph Surface, with Sally Carman as Lady Teazle, in School for Scandal
I hope I am on hand one day when Ms Pearman gets the chance to test her splendid acting talents as Lady Teazle or one of Chekhov's marvellous women.
Competing for supporting performance (male or female) in a play are Michael Sheen, the wide-eyed Mozart of "Amadeus," who actually makes moving the genius composer's sometimes puerile (at least as written) cheekiness; Adam Godley, the gangly, deeply poignant "Carry On" clown at the heart of "Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle, and Dick"; Emma Fielding, the wild-haired Lady Teazle from Declan Donnellan's all too short-lived Royal Shakespeare Co.
The firm of Edmund Taylor (Teazle) Ltd made a vital contribution to the textile trade by cutting and sorting teazles according to size for use by Huddersfield mills, Scottish cloth finishers and for export to markets in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and India.
Sir Peter Teazle (Kenneth Cranham) in a disappointing performance as harsh as it was unfriendly, seemed frequently to be on the point of losing his lines.