The Importance of Being Earnest is the most renowned of Oscar Wilde’s comedies. It’s the story of two bachelors, John ‘Jack’ Worthing and Algernon ‘Algy’ Moncrieff, who create alter egos named Ernest to escape their tiresome lives. They attempt to win the hearts of two women who, conveniently, claim to only love men called Ernest. The pair struggle to keep up with their own stories and become tangled in a tale of deception, disguise and misadventure. The elaborate plot ridicules Victorian sensibilities with some of the best loved, and indeed bizarre, characters to be found on the modern stage.
The Importance of Being Earnest makes a welcome return to the West End at the Harold Pinter Theatre from 27th June to 20th September 2014. The fictitious Bunbury Company of Players put on the show, starring Nigel Havers and Siân Phillips, making for an interesting re-imagining of the famous play. The production is directed by Lucy Bailey with design from Olivier Award winner William Dudley. Simon Brett joins as company writer to add his own embellishments to the production.
The rest of the Bunbury Company of Players are the actors Rosalind Ayres (Outnumbered), Cherie Lunghi (Excalibur), Martin Jarvis (Miss Marple, Taking the Flak) Niall Buggy (Mamma Mia!, Brideshead Revisited), and Christine Kavanagh (The King of Chaos, Doctors). Interestingly, both Nigel Havers and Martin Jarvis starred alongside Judi Dench in Peter Hall’s production at the National Theatre in 1982.
The Importance of Being Earnest London previews from 27th June and runs from 17th July through to 20th September. It then embarks on an extensive UK tour, visiting: Theatre Royal, Bath (22-27 September), Theatre Royal Brighton (29 September-4 October), Aylesbury Waterside (6-11 October), Richmond Theatre (13-18 October) and Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham (20-25 October).
Click here for tickets.