I just read a play from Oscar Wilde, „An ideal husband“ – A society couple gets blackmailed by a femme fatale. She uses a letter the man has written in his youth and in which he offered some scandalous financial service to an other man – which made him his fortune. Now he is married to a very moral wife, whom he loves dearly. He would not only loose his career, but also the love of his wife, if that letter was to be presented to public.
The blackmailer wants him to change the opinion about another financial affair so that she and her friends could make money from that. He agrees, his wife makes him withrdraw his agreement – and a friend of his sees to it, that all comes out even in the end.
The fast paced intro in that play, where guests of an evening society enjoy witty remarks and quick retorts set the tone of this play.
Today it would be boulevard theatre. Of the best kind.