Three years ago, David Suchet was seen treading the boards as Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde’s comic masterpiece The Importance of Being Earnest. This summer, the same play is the finale of Dominic Dromgoole’s year-long Oscar Wilde Season, playing at London’s Vaudeville Theatre. Widely regarded as one of the funniest plays ever written in English, Wilde’s most popular play is last he published before being imprisoned.
The witty and linguistically rich story of The Importance of Being Earnest centres around two men, Jack and Algernon, and their disdain for social obligations and responsibility. They both confess to leading double lives, each taking an identity for the town and one for the country. Love, deceit and triviality are prominent themes, with potential allusion to Wilde’s gay lifestyle.
The comedy of manners is also a biting critique of upper class society, its values and the role it can play in relationships. Although everything works out in the end – it’s a comedy, of course! – there is plenty of tension to balance the deliciously witty dialogue.
The Importance of Being Earnest runs for a strictly limited West End season from 20 July to 20 October 2018, with a press night on 2 August 2018. As the final show of Dromgoole’s celebratory season, it is only fitting that it should be Wilde’s most popular play, and should simply not be missed.
Recommended forAudiences who love period comedy, clever writing and the great works of theatre’s history won’t want to miss this popular play.
Age Recommendations: Suitable for ages 8+