At last, Oscar Wilde's four wickedly good Victorian plays, all satirical masterpieces commenting on the state of British society, are being produced in one go, and they're playing at the Vaudeville theatre, the perfect venue for Wilde's plays and exactly the type of venue he wrote them for. Welcome to A Woman of No Importance, the first of the four – tickets are on sale now.
Who's responsible for this brilliant season? Until recently the Artistic Director of Shakespeare's Globe theatre, Dominic Dromgoole's brand new theatre company Classic Spring is at the heart of the fun. His fresh venture is designed specifically to celebrate the ground-breaking work of proscenium playwrights like Wilde, just as the Globe placed Shakespeare in his original setting to showcase his plays to their finest effect.
The original brilliant wit and bold social critique Wilde was so famous for is in sparkling evidence for this new production of A Woman of No Importance, as it is for Lady Windermere’s Fan, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest, the other three plays being showcased for the Wilde season.
A Woman of No Importance opens in October 2017, directed by Dromgoole himself and starring the Olivier award winner and Globe actress Eve Best, an actress who has scored rave reviews for roles in Hedda Gabler, Much Ado About Nothing and Anthony and Cleopatra, amongst others.
A Woman of No Importance premièred in April 1893 at London's Haymarket theatre. Like all of Wilde's 'society plays' it satirises the British upper class to perfection. The plot? An earnest young American woman, a dodgy English lord and an innocent young man attend a house party full of notorious fools. All seems well, but is it really? Not far away, there's a woman who harbours a long buried secret...
Wilde’s combination of mischievous wit and Ibsen-like drama created a vivid new theatrical voice back in the 1800s, and it's set to do the same more than a hundred years later. The Wilde season also delivers a couple of excellent interludes, namely De Profundis, adapted by Frank McGuinness, and The Selfish Giant by Guy Chambers.