The Importance of Being Earnest

Worcester Rep


Oscar Wilde’s most famous play is a masterpiece of wit and social comedy with many oft-quoted lines. Ian Good’s excellent direction of this classic provides an evening of great entertainment in the charming setting of the Commandery Gardens.

Jack Worthing’s visit to London to seek Gwendolyn Fairfax’s hand in marriage is thwarted by the formidable Lady Bracknell because he lacks parents of the required standing in society, indeed he lacks parents altogether.

His friend Algernon manages to expose Jack’s posing as his fictional brother Earnest when in London and also discovers the whereabouts of Jack’s country estate. This enables him, Algernon, to pose as that fictional Earnest and visit Jack’s charming ward Cecily. This complex situational comedy allows Wilde to display his brilliant and somewhat cynical wit and contrive many hilarious scenes.

Ian Good’s production provides a traditional interpretation of this much-loved piece; it has pace, energy, liveliness and fun. The diction of the cast was good, we could hear and enjoy the language and the expressions which got the maximum from the characters and the farcical situations.

Matthew McKenna (Jack Worthing) and Will Husbands(Algernon) were excellent as the two young men; they provided a great balance and rapport. Katherine Parker-Jones (Gwendolyn Fairfax) had excellent poise and expression, and Lauren Anderson Oakley (Cecily) was lively and delivered her lines well.

Dru Stephenson was a rather youthful  Miss Prism, Erika Poole delivered the Lady Bracknell lines with clarity and aplomb, Ian Parkin was an expressive Dr Chasuble. Daniel Somerville made good comic contributions as Lane and Merriman.

This was a strong cast and they made the most of the text and it was a bright and pleasant evening. We can only hope the weather is sympathetic for the rest of the run!

The set was simple and effective, the setting delightful and the audience enjoy a picnic as they watch – remember to bring your chairs!, your Prosecco and your edibles! The company offer flexible tickets so if the weather happened to be awful, you could switch to another night!

Timothy Crow


Worcester Theatres

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