The Importance of Being Earnest – Oscar Wilde
Original Theatre Company
Theatre Royal Bath
This classic comedy by the brilliant Oscar Wilde is an absolute treat for those looking for an entertaining night out.
There is a truthfulness and honesty about this production that ensures the comedy is controlled and the characters appear to have a sincerity that this often missing in other performances.
The plot revolves around Jack Worthing (Peter Sandys – Clarke) and his chum Algernon Moncrieff (Thomas Howes.) When they fall in love with Cecily and Gwendoline the plots launches into a raft of twists and turns including handbags at Victoria Station, a perambulator and the dubious question of the importance of having the correct christian name.
Oscar Wilde was a superb satirist and given the original production was in 1895 there are some parts of the dialogue that ring true today. Which ensures his legacy will live on for many years to come.
Gwen Taylor is a fabulous Lady Bracknell, dominating the stage at all times. Susan Penhaligon is a show stealing Miss Prism; the swing scene with Rev. Chasuble (Geoff Aymer) is an absolute delight.
Gwendoline (Kerry Ellis) and Cecily (Louise Coulthard) float effortlessly through proceedings ensuring not a comic moment is lost.
The detail in the production delivers a vision of autumnal hues; the costumes and set are unsurprisingly sumptuous from Designer Gabriella Slade.
It is a hugely enjoyable production that speeds along, an excellent introduction to Wilde for any student and for ardent fans it provides much vintage fizz and a huge slice of fun.