The play proved extremely popular in its original run, lasting over a hundred performances. Critics also lauded Wilde's balance of a multitude of theatrical elements within the play. George Bernard Shaw praised the play saying "Mr. Wilde is to me our only thorough Playwright. He plays with everything; with wit, with philosophy, with drama, with actors and audience, with the whole theatre."
Yet a week after the opening of the play at the Haymarket theatre, Oscar Wilde in an interview in Sketch, had dimissed the role of the public and it's perceptions in judging the success of his play.