THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
by Oscar Wilde.
Nottingham Playhouse Wellington Circus NG1 5AF To 22 September 2012.
Tue-Sat 7.45pm Mat 8,15 September 2.30pm, 13, 19 September 1.30pm.
Audio-described 15 Sept 2.30pm, 19 Sept 7.45pm.
BSL Signed 21 Sept.
Captioned 20 Sept.
Runs 2hr 20min One interval.
TICKETS: 0115 9419419.
Review: Jen Mitchell 4 September.
Talented cast. Most enjoyable.
The Playhouse’s new production of The Importance of Being Earnest, undoubtedly Wilde’s most well-loved piece, is a thoroughly enjoyable evening’s entertainment.
Giles Croft directs a talented cast in this refreshingly straightforward production. Sam Callis is perfect as the rakish, love-struck Jack Worthing, seeking to leave behind his deceitful past as he attempts to woo the aristocratic Gwendolen Fairfax. His sidekick and accidental partner in crime, Algernon Moncrieff (Hywel Morgan), is a superbly affected toff. Both manage to give exactly the right amount of dandy-ness without ever becoming the camp caricatures that they could so easily be as they eventually attempt to ditch their alter egos Ernest and Bunbury, in the pursuit of love.
The young females complement each other wonderfully. Gwendoline (Rokhsaneh Ghawam-Shahidi) barely conceals a smoldering passion hidden just beneath the constraints of her position, her mother and society. Cecily (Anjli Mohindra), Jack’s young and vibrant ward, however is refreshingly honest and open.
History must weigh heavily on any actor taking on a role in what is commonly accepted as one of the finest comedies in the English language; particularly one where many of the lines have taken on lives of their own. Joanna Brookes gets it spot on. "A handbag" was delivered with such withering tones you could positively see Jack curling up. Her Lady Bracknell is everything Wilde meant her to be – society is everything, well almost everything. There is money too.
Tim Meacock’s set has to be worth a mention – almost naturalistic, almost looking to real life but with a clear indication of theatricality. The cramped confinement of the Victorian town dwelling is contrasted beautifully with the open aspect of Jack’s country residence, reflecting the contrasts of the drama.
One had the feeling that this was all as Wilde intended.
Lane/Merriman: Robert Benfield.
Lady Bracknell: Joanna Brookes.
Jack Worthing: Sam Callis.
Canon Chasuble: John Elkington.
Gwendolin Fairfax: Rokhsaneh Ghawam-Shahidi.
Cecily Cardew: Anjli Mohindra.
Algernon Moncrieff: Hywel Morgan.
Miss Prism: Clair Storey.
Director: Giles Croft.
Deisgner: Tim Meacock.
Lighting: Mark Doubleday.
Sound: Drew Baumohl.
Assistant director: Beth Shouler.